Twin Needling Roundup


By Judith on October 19, 2018
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This week rounds up the end of my current block of classes where we’ve been learning about twin needle quilting.

 

 

My ladies had several patterns to choose from, and as always, they completely rose to the challenge of a new technique

 

Just check out these amazing results!

 

Mosaic Cushion

(pattern available here):

 

Twin Needling (Mosaic cushion) class

 

 

Mackintosh Flower Cushion

(pattern available here):

 

Twin Needling (Mackintosh Flower Cushion) class

 

 

Applique Denim Bag

(pattern available here):

 

Twin Needling (Denim Applique Bag) class

 

 

Mackintosh Rose Wallhanging

(pattern to come):

 

Twin Needling (Mackintosh Rose Wallhanging) class

 

 

Aren’t they fabulous!

 

I’m so proud of all my ladies, not just those who tackle the class project, but also those who work continuously on their generous gift making, charitable fund raisers, sharing inspiring new projects and continuing to fuel and feed their creativity.

 

And I get to call this my day job!! #lovemyjob

 

We are taking a one week break, and when we return it will be the last block of classes of 2018!

 

Tune in again soon to find out what our new class project will be.

 

Happy sewing!

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Rope Bowl Workshop 2


By Judith on September 10, 2018
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Last Saturday was my 2nd Rope Bowl Workshop.

 

 

And I’m pleased to say this lot were just as productive as my first group of ladies!!

 

Rope Bowl Workshop2

Rope Bowl Workshop2

 

Once again the feedback from this workshop was a resounding success!

 

It gives me so much pleasure seeing proudly smiling faces going home with beautiful creations tucked under arms and invigorated inspiration for many future gifts!

 

Rope Bowl Workshop2

 

Well done ladies!

 

Interest and enquiries for this workshop continue to grow, so I will be sure to schedule more in next year!

 

Happy sewing!

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Autumn Table Projects Part 1


By Judith on September 6, 2018
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Hello there!

And hello September!

 

September sees the start of my Autumn term of classes, and an introduction to twin needling with fusible bias tape.

 

And in celebration of the start of meteorological Autumn, let me show you my new table display, full of ideas, patterns and tutorials to inspire you to get creative this season!

 

Autumn18 Table Display

 

1: French Braid Handbag

(Pattern available here)

 

Scrappy French Braid Bag (workshop)

 

I designed this bag for my Scrap Buster Saturday, back in early August.

I organised my scraps into 3 colourways – lots of strips of varying widths, and at least 7″ long.

The French Braid technique is so easy and in no time at all you have the panels made.  Quilting them onto Bosal Flex Foam gives the bag lovely structure.

2: Denim Messenger Bag

(pattern coming soon)

Messenger bags are great for all ages!  Kids at school, professionals needing a laptop bag, or how about a ‘man bag’.

 

Messenger Bag (Pretty Patches June16)

 

The pattern for this bag was originally published in Pretty Patches magazine a few years ago.  I’m hoping to get the pattern reformatted for general sale soon.

 

You can see I’ve had a little fun with the flap section of the bag in other versions of this pattern!

 

Bethany's Messenger Bag 009

messenger bag 007

Messenger bag commission

 

3: ‘Quilt As You Go’ Shopping Bag

(Pattern available here)

 

 

This is a roomy bag which will put a dent in some of your scraps!

 

The ‘quilt as you go’ technique is great fun, and the condense quilting adds strength and structure too.

 

4: Rope Bowls

Rope Bowls Workshop

I’m teaching how to make these stylish and versatile bowls at my Saturday workshops.

 

The first workshop was a hit, and a very productive day!

 

Rope Bowls Workshop Aug18

 

The next Rope Bowls workshop is this Saturday.  Again it is fully booked, but I will be running this one again in the new year (keep your eyes and ears open!).

 

5: Chenille (Cushion or Bath mat)

(Cushion pattern available here)

 

Chenille

 

On the table you can see a Chenille mat, and the Chenille Heart Cushion in the background.

 

Chenilling is such a fun quilting technique, and totally beginner friendly.

 

Chenille class sample

 

I’m hosting a Chenille workshop on Saturday 13th October, where you can make either a bath mat or my heart cushion (places still available at time of writing).

Chenille quilted bath mat

 

So that’s part 1 of my Autumn Table roundup.

 

Tune in later this week for more project inspiration!

 

Happy sewing!

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Saturday Workshops: Sept-Dec’18


By Judith on August 26, 2018
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Hello everyone!

Just checking in to tell you about some exciting new workshops coming up this term.

 

sept-dec18 workshops

 

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)

 

FMQ workshop

 

Yesterday was the first of 2 FMQ workshops.

 

20180825_152958

 

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!).

 

FMQ

 

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)

(places available)

 

 

Chenille Workshop Oct18

 

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

(places available)

 

Scandi xmas stocking workshop

 

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

(places available)

 

Gingerbread Men Garland workshop

 

 

How cute would these decorated felt Gingerbread Men look adorning your Christmas themed fireplace!

 

Gingerbread Men Gardland (Popular Patchwork Dec17)

 

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 justjudedesigns@hotmail.co.uk

 

Happy sewing!

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Rope Bowl Workshop 1


By Judith on August 19, 2018
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Hi there!

Yesterday was my first of 2 Rope Bowl Workshops.

 

 

This was my first time teaching rope bowls and not having a previous experience to draw on, I didn’t know how well the ladies would take to it, or how well their machines would behave!

 

Rope Bowls Workshop Aug18

 

But first time nerves quickly dissolved as my ladies jumped right in like pros and took to this new technique like ducks to water! (The machines were pretty well behaved too!)

 

Rope Bowls Workshop Aug18

 

By lunchtime the first few bowls had been made, fuelling confidence to keep up the productivity right until the end of the workshop!

 

Rope Bowls Workshop Aug18

 

And just look at our ‘end of day’ Rope Bowl haul!

 

Rope Bowls Workshop Aug18

 

Aren’t they fabulous!

 

I love the variety and creativity on display here!

 

Rope Bowls Workshop Aug18

 

Getting the bowls started is the trickiest part, but a little patience and a steady resolve soon gets you to the satisfying rhythm of rounds and rounds of zigzagging!

 

Rope Bowls Workshop Aug18

 

My next Rope Bowls Workshop is Saturday 8th September. It is fully booked, but if you would like your name put down on the waiting list (in case of a cancellation) just let me know.

 

And if you would like to purchase your own 8mm cotton rope, I get mine here.

 

Happy Zigzagging!

 

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Zippy Pouches Workshop


By Judith on August 12, 2018
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Zippy Pouches Workshop11th August, 10am-4pm2nd Flr, Conway Mill, Belfast

 

Yesterday was my Zippy Pouches workshop, a day to conquer the ‘Fear of the Zip’!

 

Zippy Pouches Workshop Aug18

 

My courageous ladies could choose from a simple but perfectly formed ‘Easy Peasy Pouch’ or the ‘Gracie Pouch’ which included a template and a flange feature.

 

And just look at what they achieved!

 

Zippy Pouches Workshop Aug18
Easy Peasy Pouches (2 sizes)
Zippy Pouches Workshop Aug18
Gracie Pouches (2 sizes)

 

Aren’t they beautiful!

 

Well done ladies! Your hard work totally paid off!

 

If you would like to have a go at making a zippy pouch, you can get the Easy Peasy Pouch pattern here and the Gracie Pouch pattern here.

 

Happy sewing!

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Class Projects: September ’18


By Judith on August 6, 2018
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Hello everyone,

It’s hard to believe that the summer is almost through, and attention is quickly turning to the new term of classes starting in September.

 

Twin Needling Sept18

 

This term our (optional) class project will be Twin Needling with Fusible Bias (incorporating Stained Glass Windows).

 

As you can see above, there are a range of makes to choose from.  Let’s look at them:

 

Mosaic Cushion (Beginner Friendly):

 

Mosaic (Twin Needled) Cushion

 

This 18″ cushion is a great starter project if you are new to fusible bias and twin needling.

 

Mosaic (Twin Needled) Cushion

 

Simple piecing creates the mosaic background, with the twin needled bias creating a dramatic (and quilted) finish!

 

Mosaic (Twin Needled) Cushion

 

I’ve made a feature of the zipper closure in the back of the cushion, but you could easily have an envelope or button closure here.

 

The digital pattern is available here (hard copies are available to purchase in class).

 

Mackintosh Flower Cushion (Intermediate):

 

Mackintosh Flower Cushion (Twin Needled)

 

This is another 18″ cushion, this time inspired by Charles Renee Mackintosh’s iconic design.

 

Mackintosh Flower Cushion (Twin Needled)

 

 

Shapes are bondawebbed onto background fabric, and the fusible bias then curved and twin needled down.

 

Mackintosh Flower Cushion (Twin Needled)

 

 

Again I’ve made a feature of the cushion back.

 

The digital Mackintosh Flower Cushion Pattern is available here (hard copies and full size templates are available to purchase in classs).

 

Applique Leaf Denim Bag (Advanced):

 

Denim applique bag

 

This project not only incorporates twin-needling (stems) and satin stitch applique (leaves), but also re-purposing textiles, zippered pocket and handbag construction.

 

Denim applique bag

 

The digital Applique Leaf Denim Bag Pattern is available here (hard copies and full size templates are available to purchase in class).

 

Mackintosh Rose Wallhanging (Advanced):

44332 Colour Template

If you love wallhangings and aren’t afraid of something a little more challenging, you could try your hand at this Mackintosh inspired ‘Stained Glass Window’.

 

I’m in the progress of making up this wallhanging in a different colourway, and hope to show you the finished wallhanging soon!  The finished size will be approx. 14″ x 21″ and full size templates will be available to purchase in class.

 

Materials:

 

Each pattern lists the materials you will need.

 

However, I will have the following available to purchase in class:

black 6mm fusible bias

4mm twin needles

pattern transfer pens

wadding

basting spray

thread

bondaweb

zips

hinged faux leather handbag handles

full size templates

 

So I hope you are inspired to perhaps try something different this term.  You will have 7 weeks to make one of these projects, or a project of your own choosing!

 

And there are still a few spaces left across all the classes (more info here), so why not join us for some creative fun!

 

Happy twin-needling!

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A 60’s Revival Tunic!


By Judith on August 5, 2018
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Hi there!

 

Yesterday we had a fun Scrap Busting Saturday up at the Mill.

 

Scrap busting Saturday Aug18

 

The classroom was alive with scraps getting turned into beautiful bags, cushions and quilts! (You can read more about the projects being made here.)

 

Oh how satisfying it is to breath new life into unwanted or left-over fabrics!

 

And speaking of fabric rejuvenating!

 

No 2 The ’60’s Revival’ Tunic!

 

60's Revival Tunic Aug18

 

This is my hippy tunic (made using New Look pattern 6068), not hippy perhaps in style, but hippy because it is made from 100% unadulterated C.R.I.M.P.L.E.N.E!

Yes you heard right!

I LOVE CRIMPLENE!

 

60's Revival Tunic Aug18

 

I don’t even know where a love for this nasty nylon came from! I love it so much I’m thinking of starting a ‘bring back the housecoat’ revolution!

 

60's Revival Tunic Aug18

 

And I feel it’s only right that I tell you now, I HAVE MORE CRIMPLENE! What joy!

That’ll be a few more hippy tunics to add to collection then!

 

60's Revival Tunic Aug18

 

And see that mug there?  That’s my new folksy mug! Isn’t it fab!

 

Hippy mug

 

Happy sewing!

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Real Women Have Curves Part 2


By Judith on June 30, 2018
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It’s the end of June and classes are now finished for the summer recess.  What a wonderful first 6 months in my new classroom!

 

Our ongoing heatwave here meant the classroom was quite warm on occasion, but the ladies were smokin’ their creativity even more so!

 

You may remember Part 1 of our ‘Real Women Have Curves’ roundup, where I showed you the fabulous drunkard’s path cushions my ladies had made.

 

Well just take a look at these!

 

Butterfly Garden Class June18
Butterfly Garden Class June18

 

These beautiful ‘Butterfly Garden’ quilts are stunning on every level (my poor photos not doing them justice at all!).

 

I love how different fabrics or placement of colour value can completely change the look of the same quilt.  In this pattern, drunkard’s path units are combined with squares to make up these curvy blocks.

 

Aren’t they wonderful!  A huge well done to my ladies for ‘going large’ with their curvy project (especially as temperatures soared inside and out!).

 

If you like what you see here and want to have a go at your own ‘layer cake friendly’ Butterfly Garden quilt, you can get the pattern here.

 

Butterfly Garden DP Quilt (class project)

 

I won’t have any classes in July, but you can find out all about my summer programme of classes and workshops here.

 

Happy quilting!

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Toiletry Travel Bag Finishes


By Judith on June 24, 2018
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Two Saturdays ago I held my Toiletry Travel Bag workshop.

 

Travel Washbag

 

The classroom was buzzing as 11 ladies cut, quilted, piped and zippered their way through the workshop!

 

Toiletry Travel Bag Workshop June18

 

And despite a few new techniques to overcome, these are the amazing bags they produced!

 

Toiletry Travel Bag Workshop June18

 

Aren’t they brilliant!

 

Well done ladies on your fabulous bags!  Time to start dreaming of new places to visit!

 

Travel Washbag

 

And if you’d like to make your own sizeable toiletry bag, you can get the pattern here (includes instructions for the ‘wet bag’).

 

Travel Washbag

 

Happy travels!

 

 

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Machine Sewing for Beginners


By Judith on June 18, 2018
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During the 5 Wednesday evenings in August I will be running my ‘Machine Sewing for Beginners’ Course.

 

Machine Sewing for Beginners Class May13

 

I have run this course many times in the past, and it has always proven popular. The course is designed for folks who want to learn how to use a sewing machine, or refresh their machine sewing skills from long ago!

 

Here’s a run down of the topics we cover:

 

Week 1:

  • threading the machine
  • filling a bobbin
  • understanding the various buttons, dials & stitches
  • practising the different stitches

 

 

 

Week 2:

  • understanding tension & troubleshooting
  • how to change needles and feet
  • understanding uses of different feet
  • sewing control skills

 

 

Week 3:

  • understanding fabric (warp, weft, bias)
  • measuring & cutting fabric
  • seams (1/4”; 3/8”; 5/8”, overlocking; french)

 

 

 

Weeks 4-5:

  • Project: Single skein cushion cover with a zippered back

 

Single Skein Zippered Cushion Cover

 

Extra Info:

  • Cost: £45 (includes a non-refundable deposit of £20)
  • Course in Conway Mill (2nd Floor), Conway Street, Belfast, 6.30pm-8.30pm
  • Disabled Parking and Access available
  • Places are limited so book early
  • Limited number of machines available to hire (pre-booking required)
  • Full list of materials/requirements emailed in July

 

So if you fancy learning a new skill, or brushing up on an old one, just drop me an email to justjudedesigns@hotmail.co.uk.  Classes are fun and relaxed!

 

Happy sewing!

 

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Real Women Have Curves Part 1


By Judith on June 7, 2018
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Hello there!

 

How is everyone doing?  We are already half way through the last block of classes before summer recess!

 

I didn’t set a class project this block.  I figured I’d thrown a lot at my poor unsuspecting victims students! So instead we’ve been focusing on getting UFOs ticked off the list.

 

You may remember that last term I introduced my ladies to the no-pin method of sewing drunkard’s path curves.

 

Curves class roundup 1

 

And just look at what my curvy ladies have produced!

 

Curves completely conquered! BOOM!

 

Aren’t they fabulous!  Well done ladies, and also to those still finishing off their curvy cushions! You are all amazing!

 

And before the end of this block of classes, I will have more pics of my other group of curvy ladies who are making my Butterfly Garden Quilt.  You won’t want to miss it!

 

‘Ripples’ Cushion pattern available here.

‘Butterfly Garden’ Quilt pattern available here.

 

Happy curving!

 

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Easy Peasy Pouches Workshop


By Judith on May 30, 2018
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Next up on my series of Summer Workshop posts are my Easy Peasy Pouches!

 

Zippy Pouches Workshop11th August, 10am-4pm2nd Flr, Conway Mill, Belfast

 

It’s funny how often I come across folks with an inherent fear of zippers!

 

I remember my own fear of them once upon a time. But oh, the wonderful freedom I experienced once I faced my fear, able to make and enjoy many zippered projects and gifts.

 

I want to enable others to experience this freedom and fun, and to embrace their zipper foot once and for all!

 

Easy Peasy Zippered Pouch Workshop

 

For the complete ‘Zipper Novice’ I have designed the Easy Peasy Pouch, simple construction without compromising on the little details that matter, like pretty zipper tabs and a boxed corner base.

 

Easy Peasy Zippered Pouch Workshop

 

And for those feeling a little more adventurous, you could try The Gracie Pouch.

 

The Gracie Pouch Workshop

 

These have the same simple construction as the Easy Peasy Pouch, just with a few added features and a little more quilting.

 

The Gracie Pouch Workshop

 

When I need a handmade gift idea, zippy pouches are my go to project!

 

Bookings for this workshop are now open!  All workshops are £30 (includes a non-refundable £15 deposit). Just drop me an email to justjudedesigns@hotmail.co.uk.

 

Happy sewing!

 

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Scrap Busting Saturday Workshop!


By Judith on May 29, 2018
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Hello there!

 

How is your week going?  We are (still) basking in the most gorgeous sunny weather here, leaving us with stunning, glorious sunsets!

 

Sunset (Seapark) May18
Sunset (Seapark) May18

 

This week in my classes I am presenting my summer Saturday Workshops.  The 4 Saturdays in August will all be workshops, and I will be posting about them here, starting with ……

 

Sat 4th August10am-4pm2nd Flr, Conway Mill, Belfast

 

If you’ve been sewing for any length of time, you may have a huge healthy stock of scraps, leftovers from previous quilting projects. These pieces might just be too sizeable, pretty or meaningful to throw away, leftover binding or jelly roll strips, or perhaps frugality gets the better of you!

 

Organising Scraps (Workshop)

 

Either way, there are many, many ways to put those ever growing scraps to good use!

 

Here are just a few examples of what you can make on Scrap Buster Saturday.

 

Stacked Coins Cushion: (pattern available here)

 

Scrappy Stacked Coins Cushion

 

If you have a plentiful supply of scraps, you may be able to group them into colourways like I’ve done here.

 

Scrappy Stacked Coins Cushion

 

Let your scraps dictate how wide your stacks can be!  The only preparation here is some pressing and making sure the sides are straight.

 

Scrappy Stacked Coins Cushion

 

Equally you can go completely random, and sew a variety of scraps together in the same ‘stacked coins’ way!

 

Scrappy Stacked Coins cushion

 

French Braid Handbag: (pattern available here)

 

Scrappy French Braid Bag (workshop)

 

This is another example of grouping scraps into colourways.  The French Braid piecing technique is super easy, and you don’t even need the pieces to be of equal width.

 

Scrappy French Braid Bag (workshop)

 

I’ve quilted the bag exterior onto bosal (flex foam) which gives it lovely texture and structure without losing softness.

 

(Hinged Faux Leather Handles available at the workshop)

 

Strip Pieced Quilt: (free block tutorial here)

 

Scrappy Strips Quilt (British P&Q Sept16)

 

My technique for making strip pieced blocks doesn’t involve a foundation layer.

 

Scrappy Strips Quilt (British Patchwork & Quilting Sept16)

 

I added a little ‘organisation’ to lots of random strips by making the central strip in each block white. The white strips are of uniform width, but that’s were the uniformity ends!  All other strips are random widths and lengths. I even used ‘ugly’ fabrics I still had, but I totally love the finished quilt! That’s the magic of using scraps.

 

Autumn Rail Fence Quilt (block tutorial available here)

 

Summer Rail Fence Quilt (Pretty Patches Aug16)

 

The simple sewing together of strips means you can easily make up this quilt top in a day.

 

Summer Rail Fence Quilt (Pretty Patches Aug16)

 

Once again, I dove into my scrap drawers for specific colours – golds, oranges, pinks and teals, all of different widths and lengths.  Some donated yardage of a brown stripe gives flow and order to the scraps.

 

But equally, this quilt would look fabulous made in random coloured scraps with a uniform ‘fence’ fabric.

 

‘Quilt As You Go’ Handbag: (pattern available here)

 

QAYG Shopping Bag class sample

 

Here’s another roomy handbag idea for all those colourful scraps!

 

This ‘quilt as you go’ method involves the quilting of each individual piece of fabric onto a larger piece of wadding.  There are no raw edges, and the condense quilting gives the bag lots of structure.

 

The pattern also includes this secure recessed zipper closure.

 

QAYG Handbag class sample 056

 

‘Birch’ Quilt (in progress):

 

Birch Quilt in progress

 

I took inspiration from this quilt and decided to make a grey and low volume version (given that I have an overflowing drawer of LV scraps!).

 

I plan on using up my stash of Kona Greys to make this into a bigger ‘man’ quilt.  Somehow, I think it will take me a lot longer to use up my LV scraps!

 

Birch Quilt in progress

 

So there you have it!  A little inspiration on how to use your scraps, and a date for your diary on how to have a day of fun turning them into something wonderful!

 

And if you need even more inspiration, check out my Scrap Busting Pinterest Board!

 

All Saturday workshops are £30, including a non-refundable deposit of £15 to register.  Just drop me an email to justjudedesigns@hotmail.co.uk to book a place.

 

Happy scrapping!

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Applique Sailboat Cushion Workshop


By Judith on May 20, 2018
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Yesterday was a big day here in the UK!

 

There was the small detail of a Royal Wedding (and an even smaller football final!!), but the main event was happening in my classroom at Conway Mill!

 

Applique Sailboat Cushion Workshop

 

6 ladies rocked up for a day of sewing, making my Denim Sailboat Cushion.

 

And even though The Wedding was playing on my laptop in the background, these women were serious about learning hard and barely stopped for a lunch break!

 

 

For some, it was a first time venture into satin stitch applique and a little free motion sketching too (I think the celebratory tipple of Proseco might have helped, wink, wink!)

 

Applique Sailboat Cushion Workshop

 

I’m sure you’ll agree, that these finishes (and almost finishes) look amazing!

 

Well done ladies on your focus, fun and fabulous creativity!

 

Full kits were available at the workshop, and I have a few left which I’ve listed in my shop.

 

The pattern is included in the kit, but if you would just like the pattern, you can find the digital download here.

 

Happy sewing!

 

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Mental Health Awareness Week


By Judith on May 18, 2018
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Mental Health Awareness Week is 14th – 20th May here in the UK (photos explained at the end of the post!).

 

 

Did you know that 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health issue and 5% of the world’s population currently suffer from depression? That’s 350 million people!

 

I’m sure, like me, you have either experienced some form of mental illness in your life, or know someone you care about who has.

 

 

During a particularly low point in my life, I started seeing a counsellor, who recognised that after seeing to my husband, my children, my home etc. I did nothing for myself.  She introduced me to the notion of ‘play’ and asked me to name one thing that I used to enjoy doing when I was younger.  I said sewing!

 

 

She encouraged me to reclaim this activity that gave me so much fulfillment and joy, and so I enrolled in my local college to study in City & Guilds Textile & Design.

 

I can honestly say that getting back into a creative environment and learning how to ‘play’ again, was instrumental in my recovery from depression.

 

 

That was 12 years ago, and little did I know then, that I would be teaching others how to release their creativity and learn how to ‘play’ and enjoy life again.

 

 

My first experience of teaching patchwork and quilting was to a group of women with various mental health needs (depression, self-harm, addiction, domestic violence, grief, bi-polar disorder, cancer survivors, eating disorders to name but a few).  For 2 years I  saw first-hand the therapeutic benefits they experienced after only a few short weeks of sewing.  One lady in particular, old before her time, stooped with low self worth and heavily reliant on a walking stick, made her first patchwork cushion and within 6 weeks was coming to class without her stick and walking tall!!  Like many others, learning a new skill within a caring community, and having something to show and be proud of, elevated her self-esteem and ignited hope and positivity in many areas of her life.

 

 

Seeing the wonderful benefits sewing was having on these ladies’ lives ignited a passion in me to encourage others to let go of negativity, worry, anxiety & perfectionism, even if only for a few hours a week, and discover the healing and therapeutic powers of sewing.

 

 

It’s encouraging now to see emerging evidence from neuroscientists and doctors that support what we sewists already know – that sewing (& crafting) is good for our brains and mental health!

 

The authors of the ‘Sew Your Blues Away’ blog have written an informative article about this here.  They say:

 

“In short, mentally engaging movement (sewing) helps to break the cycle of negative thoughts, as well as allowing the brain to recover and improve by generating newer, healthier brain cells.  Specialists state that an engaging hobby is often more effective than just taking an antidepressant, which typically targets only one neurotransmitter.  While sewing not only heals, it also improves the brain’s resistance to future bouts of depression by reminding our brains that we have an impact on the world around us.” 

 

So not only is sewing mentally good for us, it is helping our brains physically too! How cool is that!

 

 

This article from 2014 explains not only why crafting like knitting and sewing are good for our brains, but why crafting with others is so important too.  Check it out!

 

And I’m sure the ladies who come to my classes will testify to many of these benefits (& more!) too! We certainly have a lot of fun together!

 

 

Now my work as a sewing tutor is my passion, my calling and it has gotten me through some of the toughest periods of my life. I’m so privileged to get to ‘play’ everyday as my day job.  But of course, turning a hobby into a business means I needed to find a new hobby!

 

 

At the moment I’m learning about photography, and I enjoy getting out into nature and noticing details that I would otherwise miss had I not brought my camera along. In the busyness of this modern world I’m trying to literally ‘stop and smell the roses’!  (I hope you have enjoyed the pics I’ve shared here.)

 

 

 

So as we focus on Mental Health this week and bring this once taboo subject into the open, let me encourage you to find something that returns to you the same enjoyment, fulfillment and escapism that playtime once did. Let yourself be absorbed by creativity and fun, and released from the stresses and demands of life!

 

 

Happy sewing!

 

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Denim Applique Sailboat Cushion Workshop


By Judith on April 22, 2018
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I promised to post this week about the projects on my ‘Spring into Summer’ Table.

 

Never one to break a promise, I’m starting with my Denim Applique Sailboat Cushion.

 

Denim Sailboat Cushion (Pretty Patches July16)

 

I originally designed this cushion for a summer edition of Pretty Patches Magazine.

 

Denim Sailboat Cushion (Pretty Patches July16)

 

I loved re-purposing some denim and scraps for this nautical cushion.  My recent discovery of Aurifil 12wt wool thread also made a significant contribution!  You can read more about my designing process here.

 

The great news is that I’ll be teaching a workshop on this cushion on Saturday 19th May at my classroom in Conway Mill.

 

 

 

And not only that, kits will be available with everything you need to make the cushion, including lush Essex Yarn Dyed Linen, denim pieces, stripey binding and a bright red button for the back!

 

How cool is that!

 

 

So if you would like to spend a fun Saturday with other like minded creatives learning new skills like appli-quilting and free motion sketching, then just drop me an email to register: justjudedesigns@hotmail.co.uk

 

More ‘Spring into Summer’ posts coming soon!

 

Happy sewing!

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Applique Leaf Workshop Finishes!


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Hello everyone!  I hope you’ve been enjoying some glorious sunshine in your part of the world!

 

We have had several beautiful days here.  Doesn’t a sunny day just lift one’s spirits!!

 

Time got away from me a bit this week, but don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten to bring you the posts on my Spring into Summer projects.  I will get those posted this week.

 

In the meantime, I have a few pics to share with you from our Applique workshop yesterday!

 

 

8 courageous ladies decided to put their ‘big girl’ pants on and tackle satin stitch applique head on!  And not just satin stitch applique, but ‘appli-quilting’ – combining the techniques of applique and quilting into one step.

 

Applique Cushion/Wallhanging Workshop April'18

 

After practising a few leafy shapes, they got stuck into either a Tree Wallhanging, or a leafy cushion.

 

The sun shone all day, and despite the temperature rising in the room, there was no swearing or major catastrophies!!

 

 

Aren’t these beautiful!  We had a definite ‘blue theme’ running through some of the leaves, as well as fresh spring yellows, reds, pinks and purples!

 

 

And even a dramatic black and grey variation (the leaves on that one will be linen creams).

 

Well done everyone! You brought your willingness to learn a new skill, and some fun and banter with it!  Enjoy your new creations!

 

(The Autumn Tree Wallhanging pattern is available here.)

 

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Quilt Now Designer Feature


By Judith on April 13, 2018
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If you are a regular subscriber to Quilt Now magazine, you may recognise someone in the ‘Designer Spotlight’ this month.

 

Quilt Now Designer Spotlight

 

It was a privilege to be asked by Quilt Now to feature my new classroom and classes in the latest copy of their magazine (issue 48).

 

Quilt Now Designer Spotlight

 

I have very much enjoyed working with Katy and designing for Quilt Now in recent years, but now I’m giving almost all of my design attention to my classes.

 

Conway Mill/QN Designer Feature

 

I’m nearly 4 months into running Patchwork & Quilting classes here at Conway Mill, and I’m delighted with the response and feedback so far.

 

Conway Mill

 

My ladies are loving the wonderful light and space in the room, and I try to keep them inspired with themed quilts and project displays.

 

Conway Mill/QN Designer Feature

 

One of the things I love about working here is being surrounded by the wonderful story of what it used to be, a 19th Century Flax Mill.

 

Conway Mill/QN Designer Feature

 

Some of the original features of the Mill have survived, even through the Belfast blitz of 1941 and being set on fire during our political troubles here in the 1970’s.

 

Conway Mill/QN Designer Feature

 

How serendipitous to be bringing the art and love of textiles back into this beautiful Victorian Mill!

 

If you would like to know more about my classes, click here, or pop in to see us on the 2nd floor, grab a coffee (or lunch) in the Little Mill Bistro, or come see the many other businesses, trades, creatives and artists who work here!

 

Happy sewing!

 

 

 

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Spring Into Summer


By Judith on April 9, 2018
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Hello there!

 

It’s a new week and a new season of Just Jude Designs classes!

 

Our focus in class this term is ‘Curves’ in particular the Drunkard’s Path, and the ‘no pin’ method of sewing this wonderfully versatile block (read all about the projects here).

 

I can’t wait to see my ladies conquer a new challenge!

 

To celebrate our new term, I have changed the quilts on display in my classroom, and also my little display table has been given a new theme!

 

Spring into Summer Classroom Display

 

Spring into Summer!

 

Gone are all the Easter projects, and we are now focusing on lighter evenings, temperatures on the rise (finally) and a building excitement of Spring into Summer!

 

Spring into Summer Classroom Display

 

As before, I’ll be doing a series of posts on the items displayed, pointing you in the direction of patterns and tutorials.

 

Spring into Summer Classroom Display

 

And to kick us off, I’ll be giving you a free tutorial tomorrow on how to make these cute pot plant holders!

 

Quilted Plant Pot Covers

 

Tune in tomorrow for more creative fun!

 

 

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New Class Project: Drunkard’s Path


By Judith on April 2, 2018
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Happy April to you all!

 

Well despite it being ‘Spring’ with sweet crocuses in full bloom in my garden, today I drove through snow showers with 2 degrees registered on my dashboard! Brrrrrrr!

 

So let’s leave the present for now, and think ahead 1 week instead, when hopefully the weather will be much better as my new term of classes start up again after the Easter break!

 

For a while now I’ve been threatening exhorting my ladies to confront their fears and give curved piecing a try!

 

So we’ve decided to get our ‘big girl’ pants on and jump in to this exciting new technique!

 

 

I will be teaching the ‘no pin’ method of curved piecing, as well as how to trim a drunkard’s path unit to achieve different effects.

 

Small Projects:

 

For those who want to make a smaller project, I have designed and written several patterns.

 

‘Ripples’ Cushion:

 

Ripples DP Cushion (class project)
19.5″ x 19.5″

 

 

In this cushion you can use up lots of your colourful scraps, alternate with just a few colours, or use a different fabric in each ‘ripple’ as I have done here.

 

Ripples DP Cushion (class project)

 

The cute ditsy fabrics I’ve used here are ‘Katie Jane’ by Makower, which were leftovers from this quilt project.

 

Pattern available here.

 

‘Baubles’ Table Runner & Mats:

 

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

 

 

There are 5 ‘bauble’ shapes in this runner, but you could easily add more or less to suit your table.  Wouldn’t this be lovely in Christmas fabrics for a festive table dressing!

 

The pattern includes instructions on how to make & attach bias binding, and 4 complimentary mats.

 

Pattern available here.

 

‘In The Round’ Heart Cushion:

 

In The Round Heart DP Cushion (Class project)

 

I love the versatility of the drunkard’s path block, and the heart shape in this pom pom trimmed cushion is a great example.

 

For the background I have used Essex Yarn Dyed Linen (Flax) (available to purchase here).

 

Pattern available here.

 

Quilt Projects:

 

And for those ladies who want to ‘go large’ here are my quilt designs:

 

Butterfly Garden Quilt:

 

Butterfly Garden DP Quilt (class project)
48″ x 64″

 

 

The drunkard’s path block here creates pretty wing/petal shapes, a lovely way to showcase your floral fabrics and some echo quilting.

 

Butterfly Garden DP Quilt (class project)

 

Pattern available here.

 

Autumn Garden Quilt:

 

Autumn Garden Quilt (Popular Patchwork Nov16)
56″ x 56″

 

 

By not trimming the drunkard’s path units, you can get a different effect, as shown in this lap quilt.

 

Autumn Garden Quilt (Popular Patchwork Nov16)

 

I’ve used Essex Yarn Dyed Linen (Denim) as the background in this quilt (available to purchase here).

 

Pattern available here.

 

Drunken Hearts Quilt:

 

Drunken Hearts Quilt - Sewing World Feb16
79″ x 76″ Photo courtesy of British Patchwork & Quilting

 

 

Just like the ‘In The Round’ Heart Cushion, this quilt is made from drunkard’s path heart blocks.

 

For the background of this quilt I have used Essex Yarn Dyed Linen (Black) available to purchase here.

 

Pattern avaialable here.

 

I have two more quilt examples of drunkard’s path variations, the patterns for which I hope to be able to make available soon.

 

Hippy Blush Quilt (Popular Patchwork March18)
Hippy Blush Quilt – read more here.

 

 

Oriental Clamshells Quilt (Popular Patchwork Jan18)
Oriental Clams Quilt – read more here.

 

Wow! That was a long post!  Thank you for sticking with all my ‘curves’!

 

If you would like to learn how to make drunkard’s path units (& all of these projects) & have a lot of fun along the way, then why not join in with our other crazy creatives and register for our class starting w/c 9th April. More details on classes available here.

 

Happy curving!

 

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Denim Hexie Bag: Class Finishes


By Judith on March 30, 2018
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For the past 6 weeks some very talented ladies in my classes have been beavering away on my Denim Hexie Bag Pattern.

 

 

This pattern combines techniques such as English Paper Piecing (EPP Hexies), eyelet holes, zippered pocket, handbag construction as well as some serious denim upcycling!

 

At times it looked like a missile had gone off in a jeans factory in my classroom, as scissors and blades feverishly amputated legs, pockets and loops! While denim is one of my favourite textiles to work with, it doesn’t half shed!

 

But oh boy, the results of this serious crafting were so worth it!

 

 

 

Not all the bags being made are represented here, a few are still being finished off.

 

But aren’t they brilliant!  Sturdy, stylish practical bags that I know will get lots of use!

 

And I also know that the bags still being finished are equally as fabulous!

 

I haven’t been able to capture all the individual details in the bags here, but trust me when I tell you that each bag has it’s own unique characteristics.

 

Details like repurposed loops, tabs and pockets from the jeans, as well as complimentary fabrics like cotton and tweed, buttons, badges and even embroidery and printing.

 

A huge ‘well done’ to all my wonderful ‘Bag Ladies’!

 

If you would like to have some re-purposing fun of your own, you can get my Denim Hexie Bag Pattern here.

 

 

I also have 3 part-kits available in my shop, which include the pattern, pre-cut hexie papers, various coloured denim squares (for the hexie panels) , 1 metre of heavy weight sew-in vilene and 4 eyelet rings.

 

But be quick!  When they’re gone, they’re gone!

 

Happy recycling!

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Applique Leaf Workshop


By Judith on March 28, 2018
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Have you ever wanted to master satin stitch applique, but are too afraid to try on your own?

 

Why not surround yourself with like minded creatives and spend a Saturday learning this technique with all the help and support you need!

 

Applique WH & Cushion workshop

 

 

At the workshop you will not only learn how to set up your machine for satin stitch applique, you can also make one of two projects:

 

Family Tree Wallhanging:

 

 

 

Autumn Tree Wallhanging (Pretty Patches Oct16 issues)
27″ x 30″

 

This pretty wallhanging can be made with your favourite treasured scraps, seasonal fabrics, or how about embroidering the names of family members onto the leaves!

 

Autumn Tree Wallhanging (Pretty Patches Oct16 issues)

 

This type of applique is called ‘appli-quilting’.  The leaves will be appliqued onto an already quilted background.  The process of stitching the leaves down combines both techniques of applique and quilting (appli-quilting).

 

Applique Leaf Cushion:

 

Applique Leaf Cushion Workshop April 18
20″ x 20″

 

The same leaf motif can have many applications.  How about a pretty cushion in fabrics that co-ordinate with your home!

 

Applique Leaf Cushion Workshop April 18

 

Once again, we are using the appli-quilting technique here, applique and quilting all in one go! Simples!

 

Applique Leaf Cushion Workshop April 18

 

And how about making a pretty feature of your zipper closure!

 

Applique Leaf Cushion Workshop April 18

 

So the choice is yours!  Join us for lots of coffee, chat and craic in a fun and safe learning environment at Conway Mill.

 

Just drop me an email to book a place: justjudedesigns@hotmail.co.uk

 

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Flex & Framed Purses Workshop


By Judith on March 21, 2018
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Last Saturday we had my first all day workshop at the Mill.

 

Flex & Framed Purses workshop

 

Myself and 9 adventurous ladies settled in a for a St.Paddy’s Day knees-up with a difference!

 

Flex and Framed Purses were the order of the day, with lots of tea, coffee and craic thrown in!

 

Saturday Workshop (Flex & Framed Purses) Mar18

 

By lunchtime the ladies had reached the half-way mark by conquering the tricky glue stage on one side of their purse frames!

 

Saturday Workshop (Flex & Framed Purses) Mar18

 

Then it was onto the flex frame glasses cases.  Sadly I forgot to take some pictures, so trust me when I say they turned out brilliantly!

 

Saturday Workshop (Flex & Framed Purses) Mar18

 

I think it’s safe to say that everyone had a lot of fun, and now have 2 more handmade gift ideas for next Christmas!

 

 

And if you enjoy a little EPP (English Paper Piecing) but hate all the cutting out, my newly listed Hexie Framed Purse Kits are available again in my Etsy shop.

 

Happy sewing!

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Disappearing Blocks!


By Judith on March 11, 2018
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In my classes last week, I gave another ‘5 minute demo’.  This month the demo was all about Disappearing Blocks!

 

No, not magic tricks or a trick of the eye.  But how to turn a well known quilt block into something rather special (without lots of intricate piecing)!

The following are pictorial instructions on how to make the disappearing blocks.  A few notes to consider before we get started:

 

    • please work on the basis of colour placement being the same in each series, even if the fabrics are slightly different! (A big thank you to my daughter for making all the blocks)
    • I haven’t included sizes here.  You need to start with the finished block size and work backwards allowing for extra seam allowances per cut.
    • The position of the ‘cut’ lines can vary to give different effects, as long as they are equidistant from each seam.
    • check out my pinterest board for tutorials, sizes and variations.

 

1. Disappearing 9 Patch:

 

 

Here’s what to do:

 

2. Disappearing 9 Patch Variation:

 

 

Here’s what to do:

 

3.  Double Disappearing 9 Patch:

 

 

Here’s what to do:

 

4. Disappearing Hourglass:

 

 

Here’s what to do:

 

 

 

5. Disappearing Pinwheel:

 

 

Here’s what to do:

 

 

6. Disappearing Pinwheel Variation:

 

 

Here’s what to do:

 

 

7. Disappearing Four Patch:

(assume finished block is in same fabrics!)

 

 

Here’s what to do:

 

 

 

8. Disappearing 4 Patch Variation:

Start with another 4 patch block.

 

 

 

These are just a sample of the many disappearing blocks you can make! Aren’t they cool!

 

photo courtesy of British Patchwork & Quilting magazine

 

And if you make a quilt with one of these disappearing blocks, you can get some lovely secondary patterns emerging too, like my Disappearing 9 Patch quillow (pattern available here.)

 

I hope you have been inspired and have fun making some impressive (yet easy) quilt blocks!

 

Happy sewing!

 

 

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‘Take Wing’ Classes Roundup


By Judith on February 17, 2018
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This was the last week of our ‘Take Wing’ Butterfly wallhanging series.

 

31 brave ladies have been diving into the exacting and at times demanding technique of foundation paper piecing using Lillyella’s ‘Take Wing’ butterfly pattern.

 

And just look at some of the results!

 

Take Wing Butterfly Class Feb18

 

Aren’t they majestic!

 

Each one a unique metamorphosis of creative energy and courage into raw talent and beauty!

 

Some will be transformed into wallhangings and some into cushion covers.

 

I’m so proud of all my ladies for undertaking this project, especially for those who found themselves well and truly out of their comfort zone!

 

Well done everyone!

 

Enjoy your amazing creations!

 

 

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Class Vacancies & New Saturday Workshops


By Judith on February 9, 2018
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Hi there,

 

It’s been a beautifully cold and sunny day here!  And I can already notice a little stretch of more light in the evenings!  Hooray!

 

I have had a fantastic start to my new classes at The Mill, with great feedback from my inaugural classes.  And I can now release the next 6 week block of classes.

 

 

 

If you would like to learn a new skill, get some long standing projects completed, or join in with our optional class project (Denim Hexie Bag) then drop me an email to book a place.

 

All abilities are welcome, and you will find a hot cuppa, friendly faces, and a light and spacious classroom to work in.

 

Saturday Workshops:

 

I’m also announcing my first term of one-day Saturday workshops.

 

 

What better way to spend a Saturday than sewing fun projects alongside enthusiastic sewers in a relaxed and fun environment!  Here’s a little more information on each of the workshops.

 

Flex and Framed Purses: 

 

Flex Frame Sunnies Pouch

 

Not only do these make for great gifts, but they are so practical too!  Keep your glasses and sunglasses safe and protected in these cute flex frame cases.

 

Framed Purses - fabrics by Zazzle

 

And learn how to make these stylish metal framed purses for your make-up or essentials (perhaps even a little English Paper Piecing!).

 

 

And speaking of EPP, I will have kits available of my Hexie Framed Purses, as well as the hardware for both pouches.

 

Family Tree Wallhanging:

 

Autumn Tree Wallhanging (Pretty Patches Oct16 issues)
27″ x 30″

This wallhanging covers quilting and applique techniques.  You can make it seasonal e.g. an Autumn tree, a Spring tree or perhaps a ‘Christmas Tree’! Or turn it into your Family Tree and embroidery names on the leaves!

 

Denim Sailboat Cushion:

 

Denim Sailboat Cushion (Pretty Patches July16)
18″ x 18″

 

If you like a spot of up-cycling, then why not turn some of your unwanted denim into this nautical themed cushion!

 

Have fun with ‘appli-quilting’, feature quilting and a little free motion sketching!

 

Kits will be available to purchase at the workshop.

 

Large Toiletry Bag:

 

Travel Washbag

 

This is a sizeable pouch, with room for all your bottles and toiletries!

 

Travel Washbag

 

There’s even a handy toothbrush and toothpaste bag, with wipeable rip-stop lining.

 

Travel Washbag

 

And don’t worry about that zipper!  It’s easy peasy to put in!

 

So those are the fun workshops up for grabs!  Places are limited, and a few of the workshops are already half booked, so please don’t leave it too long to sign up!  Again, just drop me an email to justjudedesigns@hotmail.co.uk.

 

Happy sewing!

 

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New Class Project: Feb-March ’18


By Judith on February 4, 2018
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Hello everyone!

 

I hope you’ve had a healthy and creative week!

 

My first (half) term of classes are almost through (this is week 5 of 6) so it’s time to announce next (half) term’s class project!

 

 

This is a project for those who not only enjoy a spot of ‘re-purposing’ but also bag construction.  The exterior and lining are reinforced with heavy weight vilene, and the exterior is quilted.

 

 

 

What’s involved?

  • Upcycling your unwanted denim jeans, skirts and shirts (I have a large stash you can avail of!)
  • English Paper Piecing (EPP) – hand sewing the hexies into 2 panels
  • Eyelet Ring handle opening
  • Zippered pocket in the lining
  • Reinforced base

 

And to make it even easier to make this great shopper, I will have part-kits made up of the following:

 

    • 37 hexie papers Sizzix cut and hole punched
    • 37 varied pieces of denim for the hexies
    • 4 sets of eyelet rings
    • 1 metre heavy sew-in vilene
    • comprehensive Just Jude Designs pattern with step by step photos

 

The part-kits are discounted at £13 for those attending the classes.

 

So the only materials you need to bring with you are:

 

    • 0.5 metre cotton for the bag lining
    • 1 fat quarter cotton for zippered pocket lining
    • 8″ plastic zipper

 

Easy peasy!

 

As always, the class project is optional, and I will be announcing class vacancies at the end of this week!  So stay tuned!

 

Happy re-purposing!

 

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New Classroom Open Day!


By Judith on December 12, 2017
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Hello everyone!

 

Well despite the snow, I had a wonderful day celebrating the opening of my new classroom on Saturday.

 

 

Thank you to everyone who braved the weather to come and join in the fun!  It was lovely catching up with friends old and new, and getting lots of positive feedback about the new space.

 

 

Of course I couldn’t have pulled any of this off without lots of wonderful support from friends and family!

 

 

Don’t worry if you weren’t able to make it to the Mill on Saturday.  I’ve included a little video here of the ‘quiet before the storm’!

New Classroom Video

I’m so looking forward to getting started with my new classes in January. There aren’t many places left, so if you would like to join us for some creative craic, then please drop me an email to justjudedesigns@hotmail.co.uk.

 

Happy viewing!

 

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Take Wing Butterfly Wallhanging


By Judith on November 29, 2017
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It’s getting much colder here!  Brrrrr! Winter has most definitely arrived!

 

And it’s getting harder to photograph my projects outside – icy showers are never too far away!

 

Take Wing Butterfly wallhanging
24″ x 15″

 

For a while now I have been wanting to make Lillyella’s Take Wing Butterfly pattern. 

 

Butterflies hold symbolic meaning for me, and when I first saw Nicole’s Take Wing Butterfly, it took my breath away!

 

Take Wing Butterfly wallhanging

 

The butterfly is foundation paper pieced in 5 sections.  I LOVE foundation piecing because of the crisp, sharp points and lines you get from this technique.

 

And Nicole includes a really helpful colouring sheet, so you can colour in the sections of your butterfly first to get an idea of colour and fabric placement.

 

Take Wing Butterfly wallhanging

 

The fabrics I used were mostly Sunprints by Alison Glass, leftovers from a rainbow quilt I made in the summer.

 

Most of the pieced sections are small, so this would also be a great scrap-buster project.  And if you don’t fancy a wallhanging, it can easily be transformed into a beautiful cushion.

 

Take Wing Butterfly wallhanging

 

I will be teaching this next term as part of my new program of classes. I do hope you can join us for some foundation piecing fun!

 

Happy sewing!

 

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New Quilting Classes!


By Judith on November 14, 2017
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Hello everyone!

Thank you for your patience in waiting until today for my BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!

 

 

Well I can finally reveal that I will be starting up again my own programme of patchwork and quilting classes!  Woohoo!

 

For the past 3 years I have been teaching in Quilter’s Quest, Belfast.  But their announcement at the end of October to close gave me the push opportunity I needed to look elsewhere for premises.

 

Before I joined Quilter’s Quest, I had taught my own programme of classes for 5 years.  A sudden change in personal circumstances meant I had to stop, but it was always my dream to one day return to inspiring and motivating others into Quilting through my own programme.

 

And now that dream is coming true!

 

Conway Mill is a beautifully converted Linen and Flax Mill (you can read more about their history and ethos here).  It is jammed packed with lots of other creative enterprises, from artists, to architects, hairdressers, dressmakers, media tech, charities and much more!  It also has the most gorgeous coffee shop & bistro too (that’s lunchtimes sorted then!).  I’m on the 2nd floor, but don’t worry there are lifts and lots of convenient parking.

 

I acquired the last available unit, all 525 square feet of it!  No pictures just yet as it needs painted and fitted out.  But don’t worry, I’ll give you the obligatory before and after shots!

 

I will finish out the current term at Quilter’s Quest in December, and start my new programme w/c 8th January (get more details here).

 

 

But before that, I will be having an open day on Saturday 9th December, 10am -4pm.  This is your opportunity to come and see the newly fitted out premises, get more info on the classes, have a cuppa, chat and a traybake (or two!) and smooch around the room and the Mill.

 

I hope you can come and share this exciting new adventure with me!

 

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Denim Maker’s Tote


By Judith on June 18, 2017
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Hi everyone!

 

It’s getting pretty hot around here!

 

As I enjoy the wide open windows and the washing on the line, I’m also progressing well with packing up ready for moving house at the end of this month.  A small challenge when there’s 15 years worth of ‘stuff’ to thin out ready for our down-size!

 

I have also packed up my sewing room, but not before I got a class sample finished for classes in the new term.

 

Denim Maker's Tote (large)

 

I’m a great admirer of Anna’s fabulous bag designs and patterns, and her Maker’s Tote is a particular favourite of mine.  I’ve had it bookmarked for a while, but am only now getting around to making it!

 

Denim Maker's Tote (large)

 

I thought this would be a good bag pattern to teach in class because of the variety of bag construction elements and skills involved.

 

But of course I couldn’t just stick to the pattern, could I!

 

I love using denim for bags, it makes them more durable and useable in my view.  And besides, I already had 2 ‘uneven brick’ panels sewn together for another project long forgotten!  They were the perfect size, so I got to *quilting them, first in the ditches, and then some feature quilting using Aurifil 12wt wool thread.

 

*the original pattern uses a foam interfacing like Bosal to give structure and reinforcement to the bag.  I wasn’t able to get any in time, so substituted with a layer of wadding and heavy weight sew-in vilene spray basted together.

 

I used a size 100 Jeans needle for the quilting and construction

 

 

The front and back of my bag are slightly different.  I didn’t think the prescribed front pocket would work on my version of this bag, but I did include the zippered back pocket.

 

Denim Maker's Tote (large)

 

One of the joys of working with recycled denim is thinking of ways to use the loops, tabs and unusual features attached to a pair of jeans.

 

Self-covered button with vintage chintz

 

 

I decided my Maker’s Tote could be used as my everyday bag, not just a class sample, so I incorporated another one of my favourite textiles, vintage chintz linen.

 

Denim Maker's Tote (large)

 

A few vintage style Lecien prints coordinated beautifully for the internal pockets and facings.

 

Denim Maker's Tote (large)

 

The handles are made from a re-purposed denim belt, reinforced with webbing and lined with more of the chintz linen.

 

Denim Maker's Tote (large)

 

The belt was a little on the wide side, so by cinching in the edges along the top section, they are now the perfect fit for my hands and have lovely structure too!

 

Denim Maker's Tote (large)

 

The bag is finished off with self-made bias binding, another great skill to have under your belt.  If you follow me on Instagram, you will know that the first lot of bias binding I made is different to the one on the finished bag!

 

 

I decided I didn’t like choice no.1 (after I had attached it!). In my opinion the chintz linen binding works much better, even though it was a little trickier to attach.

 

So there we have my version of Noodlehead’s Maker’s Tote!  A fabulously roomy bag, gorgeous shape, and versatile elements.

 

And I’ll leave you with an ‘out take’ of the ‘helper’ on my photo-shoot!

 

Denim Maker's Tote (large)

 

Linking up to Nicky & Leanne’s Scraptastic Tuesday!

 

Happy Sewing!

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Not For Wimps!


By Judith on June 29, 2016
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Today saw the end of another year of teaching my Patchwork and Quilting classes!

I teach 4 (sometimes 5) classes a week and the topics of conversation that take place are varied and entertaining!

To give you an idea, here are a few of my favourites:

English football (the less said the better!)
The Great British Sewing Bee (and the ‘unique’ dress code of one of the judges!)
How hot and wrinkled Egyptian cotton sheets can get (don’t ask!)
How to treat achne!
How to get rid of garden snails!
How to disable your hockey opponent!
Birthing calves and lambs (& babies!)
50 ways to deal with an unhelpful doctor (un-printable!)

Of course there are many serious and thought-provoking conversations too!

Today one lady said ‘getting old isn’t for wimps’, which was swiftly followed by murmurs of agreement from around the room.

I’ve just had another birthday, and while ‘half way to 90’ isn’t old, neither am I young.

My daughter and nephew also celebrating birthdays this month!

In truth this statement could apply to life – ‘doing life isn’t for wimps’. Among the 48 ladies I have the privilege of teaching each week, some are battling cancer or illness, divorce and loss, children with special needs, caring for elderly parents, teenagers, anxiety, worry and fear and many more life challenges.

One of our recent chats in class was about how to get through life with a positive attitude, seeing good and bad times as an opportunity to grow and learn, and how to have courage to live life with intention and purpose. How inspiring!

Doing life, and doing it well, isn’t for whimps!  But each week my ladies turn up to class with a smile; they laugh, chatter, encourage, cajole, drink tea, eat biscuits and even sew a little!

They are choosing to do life, and do it well. There are certainly no wimps in my classes!!

Thank you ladies for sharing your thoughts, talents, hearts and authenticity each week.

Wishing you all a creative summer break!

Jude xo

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