Sock Monkeys


By Judith on October 4, 2019
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This term in class we have been running a soft toys theme.  And in keeping with this theme, this week I have been demo-ing the hugely affectionate Sock Monkey!

 

Sock Monkeys
Large & Medium monkey

 

This pattern is by Craft Passion and includes 3 sizes – Adult, Toddler & Baby!

 

You need one pair of socks to make 1 monkey. The pattern suggests using crew length socks (approx 8″ from heel to cuff) however I adapted knee length socks for my large monkey and used a pair of ladies ankle socks (approx 5″ from heel to cuff) for the medium monkey.

 

Sock Monkeys

 

I found these monkeys surprisingly easy to sew, especially as the pattern directs you to mark and sew the limbs and features on the complete sock first, before cutting out! Genuis!

 

Sock Monkeys

 

And there is a nifty way of getting stuffing into that narrow channel of a tail!! (It’s so clever!)

 

Sock Monkeys

 

The toys we have been making in class require lots and lots of stuffing, really well packed in to achieve the finished shape.  However, that is not the case with these little fellows!

Because socks are made from a stretchy knit fabric, the more you stuff, the more it will stretch! So my advice is not to over stuff, just enough for maximum cuddle factor!

 

Sock Monkeys

 

A little hand sewing brings all the features together. Don’t worry if you’re not that neat a hand sewer like me. The stitches just seem to get absorbed into the knit fabric! Magic!

 

Sock Monkeys

 

Aren’t they cute!  And great gift ideas for little (& big) kids (I recommend using safety eyes instead of buttons if gifting to small children).

 

So no need to discard those old or odd socks!  Get sewing your very own troop of monkeys!

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Sample Swatch Pouch Gift


By Judith on September 10, 2019
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I got to hand over another little handmade gift last week!

 

Sample swatch pouch gift

 

You may remember the Tilda & Cork pouch I made for a friend during the summer?  Well this one is for her mum.

 

Sample swatch pouch gift

 

My friend recently gave me a bag of small fabric samples, the perfect size for pouch making!  And she also guided me on her mum’s favourite colours – sage & olive greens, gold and oatmeal.

 

Sample swatch pouch gift

 

Well I just had to sneak in a rich autumnal red with this classy colour scheme.  And a little vintage trim to boot!

 

Sample swatch pouch gift

 

Quilting the swatches onto Legacy Flex Foam really gives them definition and structure.

I also found an old jewellery pendant which I thought worked well as a zipper pull!

 

Sample swatch pouch gift

 

I’m happy to report the recipient is tickled pink with her new pouch!

And because I love making cute little pouches from repurposed textiles, I’d call that a win, win!

 

Sample swatch pouch gift

 

Happy sewing!

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‘Giant’s Causeway’ Pillow Gift


By Judith on August 22, 2019
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The 2nd of my gifts being handed out this week is this English Paper Pieced (EPP) Hexie Pillow.

 

Giants Causeway Hexie Pillow Gift

 

This gift is actually a ‘thank you’ from my daughter to a family who’ve been like a 2nd family to her for many years, and have faithfully supported her missionary training!

 

The family in question love the North Coast of Ireland, and holiday there every year (with my daughter included!).

 

 

They have a particular affection for The Giants Causeway, a geological phenomenon of mostly hexagonal shaped basalt stones, created from volcanic movement 50-60 million years ago.

 

But despite what Wikipedia and National Heritage say, we all know it was in fact built by the Irish Giant, Finn MacCool! Of course!

 

Giants Causeway Hexie Pillow Gift

 

So this coastal coloured pillow with it’s columns of ombre hexies is my textile ode to The Giant’s Causeway and our legendary and affectionate giant, Finn MacCool!

 

Giants Causeway Hexie Pillow Gift

 

This is my first time appliquing EPP hexies in this way.  It’s important to draw your placement grid first onto the background (Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in this instance), before bondawebbing the starched hexies in place.

 

Giants Causeway Hexie Pillow Gift

 

I’m delighted to say the pillow was very well received and the recipients immediately got the inferences to their favourite little corner of the world.

 

Giants Causeway Hexie Pillow Gift

 

I love making cushions (well they’re just mini quilts really aren’t they!) and trying out new things.  I’ll definitely chalk this one up as a success (especially as I would like to have one in my own home!)!

 

Happy sewing!

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Tilda Cork Pouch Gift


By Judith on August 20, 2019
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This week I’ll be delivering 2 more handmade gifts.

 

Today, I handed over a sweet little Tilda and Cork patchwork pouch!

 

Tilda & Cork Pouch Gift

 

My friend is an interior designer and very kindly supplied me with the sample swatches I needed for my daughter’s Teacher’s present.

 

Tilda & Cork Pouch Gift

 

This is another sewing friend, so I though she might like a little pouch to keep some sewing bits and bobs in!  Though when she saw she said she was in need of a new make-up pouch!

 

Tilda & Cork Pouch Gift

 

I love making projects from ‘wee bits’ – I think the cork compliments the Tilda scraps beautifully, as well as giving the pouch a sturdy and robust feel.

 

Tilda & Cork Pouch Gift

 

The exterior quilted beautifully onto Legacy Flex Foam, so while it is soft and squishy, it can stand up proud all by itself!

 

Tilda & Cork Pouch Gift

 

But what do you think of the mini pompom trim?  I’m still not entirely sure if I should have added it or not!

 

Tilda & Cork Pouch Gift

 

Pompom trim or no, my friend was tickled pink with her new pouch!

 

Tilda & Cork Pouch Gift

 

I so love giving handmade gifts to friends, don’t you!

 

Happy gifting!

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Vintage Sheets Cushions Gifted!


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

 

Vintage Sheets Cushions

 

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

 

Vintage sheets

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Vintage Sheets Cushions

 

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

 

Vintage Sheets Cushions

 

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

 

Vintage Sheets Cushions

 

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

 

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

 

Vintage Sheets Cushions

 

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

 

Vintage Sheets Cushions

 

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

 

Vintage Sheets Cushions

 

A little crocheted scallop trim finished the cushions.

 

Vintage Sheets Cushions

 

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

 

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

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18th Birthday Quilt


By Judith on June 28, 2019
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My baby girl turned 18 this week!

 

Bethany

 

Wow!  How did that happen! I’m now the proud new owner of 3 adults!

 

 

 

I’ve made all my girls quilts for their 18th birthdays, and I try to reflect something of their personalities in the quilts.

 

18th Birthday Quilt

 

My youngest daughter has a sunny nature, loves colour, texture and random things! So her quilt has lots of colour, random prints and non-geometric design, sunny blues and mustard and the cosiest fleecy backing!

 

18th Birthday Quilt

 

Despite having our warmest days of the year this week, she has very much enjoyed snuggling under her new quilt!

 

18th Birthday Quilt

(A big thank you to my friend Hilary for quilting this quilt on her long arm.)

 

So that’s another family milestone and another milestone quilt!

 

I wonder what the next one will be???

 

Happy sewing!

 

 

 

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Sample Swatch Bag


By Judith on June 3, 2019
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My youngest daughter finishes her 14 year school career and turns 18 this month! Where did the time go!

 

She has had one teacher in particular who has nurtured her love of literature and encouraged and inspired her for the last 4 years.

 

So I offered to make her a bag, as a thank you.  I already knew the bag I would make, patchworked and roomy enough to take school files.

 

I had it on good authority that ‘said teacher’s’ favourite colours are black and grey – sadly the 2 colours I have least of in my bag making stash!

 

So I scrounged requested some sample swatches from a generous friend and my vision of a patchwork bag came alive!

 

Sample Swatch Bag (Teacher present) June19
Front

 

My daughter loves the touch of velvets and soft wools so while I quilted some of the swatches, I left some of the more ‘tactile’ ones alone!

 

Sample Swatch Bag (Teacher present)
back

 

I took a risk with the purple lining, but the bag was delivered today and I’m pleased to report ‘she loved it!’  Phew!

 

Sample Swatch Bag (Teacher present) June19

 

Using swatches from (often free) sample books is a great way to make patchwork projects.  Ask in Interiors and Curtain making shops for their last season’s books.

 

Sample Swatch Bag (Teacher present) June19

 

 

However, working with swatches is very different from sewing with cotton.

 

Here are a few things to consider:

    • try to remove all the paper from the back of the swatches
    • use a larger stitch length & walking foot when working with thicker fabrics
    • fuse interfacing to lighter fabrics to give them equal body to thicker ones
    • quilt onto a lightweight flex foam (I used Legacy) to stabilise the mixed fabrics & help absorb the thicker seams
    • ‘stitch in the ditch’ before other quilting
    • use size 90/14 Jeans needle (quilting) and 100/16 Jeans needle (construction)
    • for quilting use upholstery thread (top) and standard quilting thread (bobbin)
    • for construction use upholstery thread (top and bottom)

 

Sample Swatch Bag (Teacher present) June19

 

June is turning into a busy month of present making!  I will have more to show you before the month is out!

 

Happy sewing!

 

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New Year Table Display: Part1


By Judith on January 14, 2019
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We are well into our stride again with the new term of classes.

So it’s time to show you my New Year Display Table!

 

New Year 19 Display Table

 

I’ve gone for a ‘kitchen’ theme this term, getting you inspired to pretty up your table and domestic space, as well as lots of gift ideas for those friends who love being in their kitchen!

 

So let’s get started!

 

1  Trivet Mats

 

EPP Trivet Mats

 

Over the years I have gathered up lots of free EPP (English Paper Piecing) packs and templates, most of which came free with quilting magazines.

 

EPP

 

Often there is a useful little book or pattern ideas that come with them, and I spent my free time over Christmas doing some relaxing hand sewing, and having fun with my Tilda scraps.

 

Trivet Mats

 

I used some Essex Yarn Dyed linen (Flax and Denim) for the backgrounds, appliqued and quilted them onto Polyester Insulating Wadding (available here) and made my own bias binding to finish.

 

Trivet Mats

 

I purposely used the thicker poly wadding (also used in oven gloves) to give my mats some durability when being used as trivets.  I also love the lush texture you get from the denser batting.

 

Trivet Mats

 

You could easily replace this wadding with Insul Bright heat resistant wadding and turn them into placemats (all materials mentioned are machine washable).

 

2  Aprons

 

I have 2 types of Aprons on display, and I will be teaching them both as a Saturday workshop on 9th March.

 

Apron workshop

 

The popular Cross Back apron is available here.

The pattern for my Tie Back apron will be coming soon (adult and child sizes will be available).

 

apron in a jar 005

 

This apron is designed to fit into a decorative mason jar so it can be gifted!

Cute or what!

 

3  Lunchbags (2 styles)

 

 (Pattern coming soon)

 

Lunchbags

 

I had a lot of fun designing these lunchbags several years ago for Popular Patchwork magazine.

 

Lunchbags

 

The raw edge applique designs can be child or adult friendly (or you could even made a patchwork version – that’s next on my list!).

 

Lunchbags

 

Both bags are insulated with Insul Bright heat resistant wadding, and the linings are made from wipeable Rip-stop nylon (or you could re-purpose a machine washable shower curtain!).

 

Lunchbags

 

The pattern (includes both styles) is currently being tested and will be available soon.

 

4  Teabag Wallet

 

(free tutorial available here)

 

Teabag wallet

 

I’m not a tea drinker, but I have family and friends who not only love their tea, but like something a little more ‘individual’.

 

Teabag Wallet Tutorial

 

These portable (and uber cute!) little wallets will hold 4 individually wrapped teabags, in all your favourite flavours.

 

Teabag Wallet Tutorial

 

They are ridiculously easy to make (all the pieces are cut the same size!) and would make great little gifts for tea lovers everywhere!

 

5  Oven Gloves

(free tutorial available here)

 

Oven Gloves

 

For a long time now, I’ve badly needed to replace my tatty old oven gloves.

Like my trivet mats, I have used Polyester Insulating wadding in these oven gloves (also known as ‘oven glove wadding’!!).

 

Oven Gloves

 

The quilting and assembly of the gloves is straightforward, and I used pre-made bias binding to finish.

 

Oven Gloves

 

Only problem is, with the way that I cook, these are just waaaaaay too nice to risk the kind of food mess that I’m particularly good at!!

 

6  Tea Cosy

(pattern available here)

 

Folksy Tea Cosy Workshop

 

I’ll be running my Folksy Tea cosy pattern as a Saturday workshop in April.

 

I originally designed this for Sewing World magazine, and it combines insulating wadding and fun felt applique.

 

Folksy Tea Cosy

 

The pattern takes you through how to measure your teapot and calculate your bespoke teacosy measurements.  It also includes the additional applique design ‘Sit Long Talk Much’.

 

Tea cosy class sample

 

7  Bottle Carrier

 

(free tutorial available here)

 

 

Bottle Holder

 

If you like to take a bottle of wine round to a friend’s house, or to your favourite ‘BYO’ restaurant, then you might find this reusable bottle carrier a handy addition to your kitchen cupboard.

 

Bottle Holder

 

One fat quarter will make the whole carrier, but why not jazz it up with a contrast fabric!

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

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed part 1 of my New Year Display Table roundup.

Do come back again for more kitchenalia tutorials and patterns in part 2.

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Christmas Table Display: Part 2


By Judith on October 31, 2018
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Welcome back to part 2 of my Christmas Table Display! (part 1 available here)

 

Christmas Table Display 18

 

I’ve had great reactions to my Christmas display in my classes this week.

I hope you enjoy reading about them too!

 

6 Festive Stars Table Runner

(pattern available here)

 

Christmas Table Runner Class sample

 

This is one of my newest patterns available for general release!

 

It is a ‘charm pack friendly’ project, but the pattern also includes yardage quantities to make the runner  in 3 feature fabrics.

 

I’ve seen my runner made in non-Christmas fabrics (I love seeing different interpretations of the same pattern!), and I have this variation done in Retro 30’s prints hanging up in class.

 

Economy Stars Table Runner

 

7 Christmas Gift Bags

(free tutorial available here)

 

Christmas gift bags tutorial

 

This is another ‘Eco Friendly’ way to ‘gift wrap’ a smaller present. Waaaaay nicer than paper which gets torn up and thrown away!

 

I’ve made so many of these easy peasy bags, housing sweet jams or chutneys, sumptuous bubble baths and creams or decadent chocolates and liqueurs!

 

Drawstring Gift Bag

 

So if you want to ‘upgrade’ a small gift into a ‘wow’ gift, give my drawstring gift bags a try!

 

8 Zippered Bauble Pouches

(free tutorial available here)

 

Bauble Zippy pouches

 

The link above is to the Easter Egg version of these pouches, but simply draw a circle instead of an egg and follow the same tutorial.

 

If you know someone who prefers money or gift vouchers (or diamonds!) pop them into this compact pouch.  The addition of a key-fob attachment turns it into a useful little coin purse!

 

Christmas Bauble pouch

 

Then hang them on the tree, or stuff into stockings and wait for the smiles!

 

9 Christmas Coasters

(no pattern available)

 

Christmas coasters

 

These 5″ Christmas themed coasters are made using the foundation paper piecing method and are great for using up small Christmas scraps!

 

Christmas coasters

 

I first saw them here, but the link to the maker’s website is no longer available.

 

However, if you are attending my classes, I can easily take you through the making of these!

 

10 Christmas Cracker Tree Skirt

(pattern available here)

 

Christmas Cracker Tree Skirt (class project)

 

This fun tree skirt forms part of our class project this term.

 

The pattern is by my talented quilty friend, Reene, and you can read more about this project here.

 

Well I hope my Christmas table display and projects has fueled your Christmas inspiration and motivation!

 

With less than 8 weeks to go til the big day, I guess we’d better get our sewing machine ‘skates’ on!

 

Happy sewing!

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Christmas Table Display: Part 1


By Judith on October 29, 2018
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My new block of classes started back this week, and I have a few surprises in store for my ladies!

 

The first surprise is the change to my table display.

 

Christmas Table Display 18

 

Not hard to guess what theme I’m going for here!

 

This is the first of 2 posts that will take you through most of the items on display, giving you links to patterns and tutorials along the way!

 

So let’s get started!

 

1 Scandi Stocking

(pattern available here)

(Dyslexic friendly pattern available here)

 

Scandi Stocking Dec Issue Sewing World Magazine

 

My Scandi Stocking pattern was first published in Sewing World magazine several years ago.

 

It combines one of my favourite fabrics, Essex Yarn Dyed Linen, with Makower’s gorgeous Scandi Christmas fabrics.

 

Scandi applique

 

A little fussy cutting and simple applique add manageable and fun stages to this project.

 

Which is why I decided to run it as a Saturday workshop, on 17th November. (Full kits are available for those attending the workshop, but any leftover kits will be offered out!).

 

Only 1 place left on the workshop – get in touch if you would like to join us for some festive fun!

 

2 Mini Christmas Stockings

(free tutorial available here)

 

Christmas Stocking Workshop Dec12

 

If you have a small present to gift why not pop it into a cute mini stocking!

 

Stockings for Fabric Yard

 

These mini projects are great for using up scraps, leftover jellyroll or binding strips. And you can patchwork & quilt them anyway you like!

 

3 Dresden Coasters

(pattern available here)

 

EPP Dresden Christmas Coasters

 

If you fancy a little hand sewing in your Christmas crafting, how about some Dresden coasters.  The blades are English Paper Pieced for accuracy, and the rest is done on the machine.

 

EPP Dresden Christmas Coasters

 

Again, these made their debut in Sewing World  magazine. I used more Essex Linen here, this time Black, with a few leftover Christmas 5″ charm squares.

 

EPP Dresden Christmas Coasters

 

Of course you could make these anytime of the year, making the dresden blades in non-Christmas fabrics.

 

4 Robin Cushion

(Pattern available here)

 

Christmas Robin Cushion pattern

 

This cute fellow first appeared in Pretty Patches magazine, and has been a big hit ever since!

He is a mixed textile cushion, making him super tactile and cuddly!

If you like mixing in a little tweed, wool or linen with your cottons, then you will love making this Rockin’ Robin!

 

Christmas Robin Cushion for Pretty Patches (Dec16)

 

I have used satin stitch applique here, but you could easily use raw edge applique or blanket stitch applique (more guidelines on machine applique here).

 

5 Christmas Baubles Cushions

(pattern to come)

 

Christmas Baubles Cushions

 

I first made a Christmas Baubles cushion for a Brit Bee friend as part of a secret santa cushion swap several years ago!

These are great fun to make because there is no end to the ‘style’ of bauble you can have.

And you can let your creative ‘quilting’ juices flow too when it comes to the quilting.

One day I will get around to writing a pattern for these cushions – it’s on the long list!

 

So that’s the end of part 1!

Tune in again for part 2 and my 2nd surprise reveal!

Happy sewing!

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50th Birthday Quilt


By Judith on October 6, 2018
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Waaaaaaaay back, in February, I facilitated a very good friend’s special birthday request!

 

50th Birthday Sew-In at the Mill

 

16 friends squished into my classroom, each of them charged with making a patchwork block about their dear friend.

 

Shirley has been a nurse, midwife, missionary and lecturer. She is one of the most generous, caring and just people I know and I feel truly privileged and blessed to call her ‘friend’ these past 21 years.

 

It took a wee while for a few postal blocks to come in, and then I set to work, finishing up the sketching details and chosen texts, as well as assembling and quilting the quilt.

 

Shirley's Friendship Birthday Quilt

 

And then the final handover happened last week (took a while to get us both in the same country at the same time!).

 

Shirleys Friendship Birthday Quilt

 

 

I’ve made a little mosaic of the individual blocks so you can see more of the details (I promise they aren’t as curvy as they seem here – I took pictures of them while the quilt was on the line! It was windy!)

 

Shirleys Friendship Quilt blocks

 

There is so much thought, love and creativity in all of these blocks, a moving tribute to our funny, coffee loving, brilliant friend!

 

Shirley and me

 

Even though I had already gifted Shirley a quilt for her birthday back in February (read more about this quilt and the sew-in here), I wanted to contribute a block to her Friendship Quilt.

 

And here it is….

 

Shirley's Friendship Birthday quilt

 

That’s Shirley in the middle (portraits were never my strong suit!) between me on the left (I told you portraits weren’t my strong suit!) and Rosie (amazingly this actually looks like Rosie!). We first met 21 years ago at Bible College, and are the self named ‘Breakfast Club’ (we still meet once a month for breakfast, coffee and catch-up!).

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about this very special quilt and its very special recipient!

 

Happy sewing!

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Infinity Scarf Tutorial


By Judith on September 28, 2018
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My 5 minute demo in class this month was how to make these super easy infinity scarfs.

 

DSC_0020

 

You can use anything between 1 and 4 pieces of fabric for your scarf.

 

Infinity Scarfs

 

The sumptuous softness of Art Gallery fabrics  or Liberty Lawns work particularly well, but you can also use quilting cotton, or for a more cosy scarf, try brushed cotton or snuggly fleece.

 

Would you like to know how to make them? My tutorial shows you how to make a scarf from 4 fabrics.

 

Infinity scarf tutorial

 

You will need:

Scarf made from 1 fabric: 1 x (20″ x 60″) or

Scarf made from 2 fabrics: 2 x (10.5″ x 60″) or

Scarf made from 3 fabrics: 2 x (10.5″ x 30″) & 1 x (10.5″ x 60″) or

Scarf made from 4 fabrics: 4 x (10.5″ x 30″)

3 metres mini pom pom trim (optional)

Adjustable zipper foot

 

Use 1/4″ seam allowance

 

1  Sew 2 panels right sides together  along the short edges. Press the seam open.  Repeat for the other 2 panels.

 

 

2 On the right side of one of the pairs, pin and machine tack 2 x 60″ lengths of mini pom pom trim down both long sides. The pom poms should be facing away from the outer edges.  I used my zipper foot for this part so I could sew past the pom poms.

 

 

3 Place both paired panels right sides together and sew down both long sides.  Again, I used my zipper foot here.

 

 

4 Turn the scarf right side out.

 

5  Iron under the raw edges of one short end by 1/4″.

 

 

6  Take the other short end and twist the scarf once before tucking it into the ironed under short end.

 

 

7 Even out the short ends, pin and sew them together, 1/8″ from the folded edge. You are only sewing through the 2 short ends here.

 

 

And there you have it!  A beautifully soft infinity scarf.

 

Infinity Scarfs

 

You can of course lengthen and widen the measurements here to suit your needs or style!

 

Have fun making these versatile and practical scarves. But be warned!

 

EVERYONE will want one!!!

 

Happy sewing!

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Autumn Table Projects Part 2


By Judith on September 12, 2018
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Hello there!

 

As promised, I’m back to tell you about the rest of the projects on my Autumn Table!

 

Autumn18 Table Display

 

(you can read all about projects 1-5 here)

 

6. Denim Washbag:

 

Denim Washbag

 

My love of repurposing denim gets everywhere!

 

Unfortunately I don’t have a pattern written up yet for this project, but I’m currently working on a new Denim Pouch Bag, so stay tuned for new ways to upcycle your denim.

 

7. Stacked Coins Cushion

(pattern available here)

 

Scrappy Stacked Coins Cushion

 

I had so much fun making this cushion for my Scrap Busting Saturday last month.

 

Scrappy Stacked Coins Cushion

 

I have soooooooo many scraps I was able to ‘stack my coins’ into 10 colourways, 5 in the front and 5 in the back!

 

Scrappy Stacked Coins Cushion

 

The pattern includes a nifty step by step guide on how to put a zipper into your cushion.

 

Scrappy Stacked Coins cushion

 

And don’t worry if you don’t have as many ‘organised’ scraps as me, you can go completely random and throw everything (and the kitchen sink!) in!

 

8. Zippy pouches

(Easy Peasy Pouch pattern available here)

 

Easy Peasy Zippered Pouch Workshop

 

(Gracie Pouch pattern available here)

 

The Gracie Pouch Workshop

 

Another successful workshop last month was my Zippy Pouches day!

 

This was all about conquering the ‘fear of the zipper’, and adding more fabulous gift making ideas to the repertoire!

 

Easy Peasy Zippered Pouch Workshop

 

The Easy Peasy Pouch is a great beginner friendly pattern on which to cut your zippy teeth on (2 sizes available)!

 

The Gracie Pouch Workshop

 

And if you’re feeling a little more adventurous, try the roomy Gracie Pouch (also available in 2 sizes).

 

9. Tissue Box Covers

(free tutorial available here)

 

Tissue Box Cover Tutorial

 

Aren’t these much better looking than cardboard tissue boxes!

 

Tissue Box Cover Tutorial

 

And the great thing about this tutorial is you can cover any size box, with my handy ‘made to measure’ table!

 

10. Hot Water Bottle Cover

(pattern available here)

 

Hot Water Bottle Cover Pattern

 

As temperatures are cooling, how cosy would it be to snuggle up in the evening with a soothing hot water bottle and a great read.

 

Hot Water Bottle Cover Pattern

 

This cover fits a standard size hot water bottle, and if you line it with Insul Bright heat resistant wadding, your bottle stays warmer for longer!

 

And a great gift idea, don’t you think!

 

So there we have it!  My Autumn Table Roundup full of ideas and inspiration this new season.

 

Thank you for tuning in!

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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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Tissue Box Cover Tutorial


By Judith on August 20, 2018
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It’s about time I posted another tutorial here, don’t you think?

 

Tissue Box Cover Tutorial

 

Before all the sniffles and colds get going, how about pretty, quilted tissue box covers.  I’d much rather see pretty fabric sitting in my room, than a functional cardboard box!

 

Tissue Box Cover Tutorial

 

And this tutorial will explain how to cover a box of any size, so let’s get started!

 

You Will Need:

 

Exterior Fabric

Lining Fabric

Wadding

Heavy Sew-In Vilene

Non-permanent fabric marker

Cardboard or template plastic

 

Measure your box:

 

Tissue Box Cover Tutorial

 

Take measurements A (short side), B (long side) and C (top).  Then add 3/4″ (0.75″) to each measurement (1/2″ for seam allowances, 1/4″ for ease) to get the cutting out sizes.

 

You can see my measurements in the example below:

 

Tissue Box Cover Tutorial

 

Cutting Out:

 

So now that you have the cutting out measurements you can either ….

 

apply all measurements to your exterior fabrics, lining fabric, wadding and heavy sew-in vilene

 

Tissue Box Cover Tutorial

 

OR

 

instead of cutting out the sides, cut and baste an 11″ x 12″ piece of exterior fabric, wadding and sew-in vilene.  Once quilted, this is big enough to cut out all 4 sides.

 

 

You will also need this template for the openings.  I use the larger shape for rectangular boxes and the smaller shape for cube boxes.  Cut out the openings and transfer them to card or template plastic.

 

Make It:

 

Use 1/4″ seams

 

1  If you haven’t already done so, spray baste the exterior fabrics, wadding and vilene together.

 

2 Quilt as desired (I marked and quilted a 1.5″ diagonal grid, see photo above).

 

 

3 Pin an exterior short side (A) right sides together with the exterior top (C). With a pen, mark 1/4″ in from each corner on the short side (wrong side).

 

 

4 Sew from marker to marker, starting and finishing with a reverse stitch. Repeat for the other short side.

 

 

5 Press the short ends out before attaching the long sides in the same way (remember to mark your 1/4″ points).

 

 

6 Repeat steps 3-5 for the lining pieces.

 

 

7 Find the middle of the lining top piece (I simply folded it in half lengthways and widthways and finger pressed).

 

 

8 Centre your chosen template opening onto the wrong side of the lining top piece and draw around it.

 

 

9 Pin the exterior and lining pieces right sides together. Sew along the drawn line, starting and finishing with a reverse stitch.

 

 

10 Carefully cut out the opening, leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance. Snip at 1cm intervals all the way around the opening, taking care not to cut into the stitches.

 

 

11 Push the lining through the opening and all the way round to the back of the exterior. Iron around the opening to neaten.

 

 

12 Top stitch around the opening, 1/8″ from the edge.

 

 

13 Pin the exterior sides right sides together. Sew adjacent exterior sides together, sewing from the top down to the 1/4″ marker (fold the top piece out of the way so you can get right down to the 1/4″ marker). Start and finish with a reverse stitch.

 

Tissue Box Cover Tutorial

 

14 Repeat step 13 for the lining pieces.

 

 

15 Turn the exterior right side out, by folding it out over the lining. On the inside you should be able to see the right side of the lining.

 

16 Push the lining well into the corners of the exterior cover.  Pop in the tissue box and trim off any excess cover and lining level with the edge of the box.

 

 

17 Machine tack (large stitch) around the raw edges 1/8″ from the edge.

 

 

18 Make enough double fold quilt binding to get around the bottom edges with a couple of inches overlap.  Attach, join and finish the binding as you would for a quilt.

 

Pop in the tissue box and adorn your bedside table!

 

Tissue Box Cover Tutorial

 

Or how about a scrappy tissue box cover ….

 

QAYG Tissue box cover

 

…. or have some free motion sketching fun!

 

Tissue Box Cover Tutorial

 

Whatever shape or design you choose for your cover, have lots of fun!

 

Happy sewing!

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‘Wee Coloured Houses’ Birthday Pouch


By Judith on August 14, 2018
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A good friend of mine recently celebrated a milestone birthday.

 

Now this friend is uber creative and talented, especially when it comes to ceramics.

 

Rachel has a workshop in Conway Mill, just 2 floors above me, and makes the most stunning ceramic house pictures and brooches #weecolouredhouses

 

I’m lucky to be the proud owner of 2 such creations!

 

'Wee Coloured Houses' by Rachel Julca

'Wee Coloured Houses' by Rachel Julca

 

So from one maker to another, I knew my gift had to be handmade!

 

Wee Coloured Houses Pouch (birthday gift)
approx 12″ x 8″

 

My ‘Wee Coloured Houses’ pouch is inspired by Rachel’s adorable little houses. They have been free motion sketched onto Essex Yarn Dyed Linen (Flax).  Those tiny windows were a challenge!!

 

Wee Coloured Houses Pouch (birthday gift)

 

I know Rachel loves colour, so I went with a patchworked back and a bright, funky lining.

 

Wee Coloured Houses Pouch (birthday gift)

Wee Coloured Houses Pouch (birthday gift)

 

So here’s to many more creative years Rachel!

 

 

And if you would like to purchase one of Rachel’s pictures or commission her for a custom order, you can contact her here.

 

Also, keep an eye out for her at Frock Around the Clock Fares and the Fine & Dandy Markets, as well as seeing her stock in The Designerie (Bushmills), Belfast City Airport, The Crafty Barn (Carlingford) and Klover (Hillsborough) to name a few!

 

Happy sewing!

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Easter Table (part 2)!


By Judith on March 16, 2018
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So, I’m going to completely ignore the impending snow forecast and pretend it is spring and enjoy my narcissus and daffs and the blissfulness of denial!

 

 

With just over 2 weeks to Easter, let’s crack on with part 2 of my classroom Easter table.

 

Garden Shed Tidy (Pretty Patches May16)

 

At the top right hand side of the picture, you will see my Garden Shed Tidy.

 

 

Sewing with clear vinyl isn’t as tricky as you might think!

 

 

This was made for the May ’16 issue of Pretty Patches magazine.  As the garden starts to come to life again, I get sporadic urges to amble down the ‘garden’ isles of my local homeware shop,  buying packets of seeds with renewed vigor that this year I will plant them (!!)

 

And if (like me) you aren’t much of a gardener, you could easily use this cute tidy in your bathroom, the teenagers room, or in the study keeping stamps, envelopes and stationery organised (people do still write letters, right?).

 

 

Hanging on my diy Easter tree are my Easter Egg Zippy Pouches, made with older children in mind who might prefer money or vouchers for Easter!  You can get the free tutorial here.

 

DIY Easter tree

 

Also hanging on my Easter tree are some crochet bunnies.  I followed this tutorial, however mine seem to resemble some kind of dysmorphic bat!

 

Harriet Hare Cushion

 

Now one of the cushions on my table is an old friend.  You may recognise her from this quilt!

 

Harriet Hare Cushion

 

My trusty Woodland Hare, Harriet, has been enlarged and appliqued onto a bespoke cushion cover.  She’s been stuffed and in the absence of piping cord, I top-stitched the side seams.

 

Seeing Harriet’s endearing smile always brings me joy!

 

Picnic Bobble Quilt (Popular Patchwork Aug16)

 

 

Finally, for part 2, all of these items are sitting on my Picnic Bobble Blanket.

 

This was another magazine commission, this time the August ’16 issue of Popular Patchwork.

 

It’s a great pattern for showing off a larger scale print.

 

Picnic Bobble Quilt (Popular Patchwork Aug16)

 

It is double backed, the outer layer being a machine washable shower curtain (we don’t want any soggy bottoms!).

 

Picnic Bobble Quilt (Popular Patchwork Aug16)

 

This is another pattern I will commit to re-write for general sale!

There is a lot of work involved in converting a pattern from a magazine template to one of my own formatted patterns.  I have a long ‘to do’ list and will be announcing some new releases soon!  Thank you for your patience.

 

There are still 2 projects left on the table to tell you about.  But I will give them a post all of their own!

 

In the meantime …..

 

Keeeeeeeeep sewing!

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Easter Table (part 1)!


By Judith on March 14, 2018
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When I was at Primary School we had a ‘Nature Table’, decorated according to the seasons, with items mucky hands would triumphantly find and trophy into class the next day!

 

The Autumn Table was my favourite.  I can still see the bright orangey-red ovals of rosehips, shining like jewels among the tattered leaves and empty conker casings.

 

Well I may be all grown up now (sort of!), but in the childhood-spirit of celebrating the season, I thought it would be nice to have an ‘Easter Table’ in class!

 

 

Not all of these items are strictly ‘Easter’ related – I’m using a little Spring inspiration (& a lot of creative license!) too.

 

So over the next 2 posts, let me talk you through my table and I’ll give you the links to the free tutorials too!

 

We’ll start with the left hand side of the table.  The items are sitting on my blue chenille mat.  If you’ve never tried chenilling before, I highly recommend it.  Great fun and super easy too!

 

Chenille

 

Chenille involves lots of layers of fabric, sewn together on the bias in half inch channels.  The fabric between the channels is then cut, through all layers except the bottom one.  Give it a rigorous wash and tumble dry, and hey presto, you have the fluffiest fabric which you can then turn into anything you like!

 

So far, I’ve chenilled a baby play mat,  a bath mat (below) and a heart cushion!

 

 

In my trug we have my Carrot Cornets ….

 

Easter Carrot Cornets tutorial
filled up with mini eggs!

 

 

……and my Bunny Bags ……..

 

Easter Bunny Bags tutorial

 

The large and small baskets are based on this tutorial by Pink Penguin.  These are so versatile, with a multitude of applications!

 

Easter Basket

 

Above the trug we have my easy cutesy baby bibs ….

 

 

… and my large and small Bunny Tote Bags.

 

 

These were made for Pretty Patches magazine last year.  One day I will get around to re-formatting the pattern for general sale!

 

And above these Bunny Tote Bags are my hanging Scented Houses.  I ran this as a workshop a few years ago, but I need to update the pattern. So it’s not available just at the moment, soz!

 

Scented Fabric Houses Feb13hang them in your wardrobe to keep clothes smelling fresh!

 

I think that’s enough to be getting on with!

 

Tune in later in the week for Easter Table Part 2!

 

I’ll leave you with my crocheted spring garland (another invention of mine for which I haven’t yet written the pattern! Soz again!).

 

 

Happy sewing!

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Lola Pouch Gifts


By Judith on December 27, 2017
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Hello everyone!

 

How did your Christmas go over?  Mine was a peaceful and relaxing time spent with family…. the best kind (though eating my body weight in mince pieces and festive fayre is perhaps overdoing it, a tad!).

 

In all the pre-Christmas madness busyness I past my 7th year blogiversary (20th) and on 10th December I reached 1000 followers on Instagram! Quite the milestone!

 

Now that is call for celebration!  I’m hatching a giveaway plan, so watch this space – details will be coming soon.

 

But for today I’ll show you 2 more gifts I managed to squeeze in before the big day!

 

Small Lola Pouch Gifts Dec17

 

These are Lola pouches, designed by my very talented friend Svetlana.

I had the privilege of testing the Lola Pouch for Svetlana a couple of years ago, when I made the larger size (which I use to store all my EPP papers and templates).

 

Small Lola Pouch Gifts Dec17

 

This time, I needed a small zippy pouch to ‘carry’ some little gifts, and I immediately thought of the small Lola pouch.

 

Small Lola Pouch Gifts Dec17

 

Because of Svetlana’s brilliantly written pattern, I had these two run up in no time at all (it took longer choosing fabrics!).

 

Small Lola Pouch Gifts Dec17

 

I love how Svetlana puts fabrics together.  Going for black and white binding may seem like a brave option given the floral Amy Butler fabrics, but I love how Svetlana has used it in the past and I just knew it would work (any excuse to use stripey binding!).

 

Small Lola Pouch Gifts Dec17

 

I can think of a million uses for these cute little pouches! And so quick and easy to make too!

 

Small Lola Pouch Gift Dec17

 

If you fancy having a go yourself, you can get both sizes in the one pattern here.

 

Small Lola Pouch Gifts Dec17

 

Happy gifting!

 

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Recycled Denim Pouches


By Judith on December 21, 2017
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Hi everyone!

 

Well with only a few more days to go, I hope you are not too stressed!

 

I have only one more commission to complete (tomorrow) and then I am officially off work! Yay!

 

Recycled Denim Pouches

 

Despite the busyness this week, I did manage to get 2 presents made.  One is a secret santa (which has already been gifted) and one is a thank you gift.

 

Recycled Denim Pouches

 

It’s always ‘playtime’ for me when it comes to re-purposing my denim hoard stash!  But this was my first time trying denim half square triangles.

 

Recycled Denim Pouches

 

I kept the half square triangles fairly big (by patchwork standards) and they worked like a dream. The bags are approximately 11.5″ wide by 9″ tall, lots of room for all the accessories us ladies seem to accumulate!

 

Recycled Denim Pouches

 

I love the finish of Aurifil 12wt wool thread on denim.

 

Recycled Denim Pouches

 

And some tabs saved from a beloved denim shirt add the perfect finishing touches.

 

Recycled Denim Pouches

 

And remember, never throw away those broken or unwanted pendants or charms!  You never know when they’ll come in handy!

 

Recycled Denim Pouches

 

Happy recycling!

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Apples!


By Judith on November 5, 2017
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Happy Sunday to you all!

 

I had a lovely, relaxing day today. And that included some fun sewing time!

 

Apples

 

These cute little apples are from the genius creativity of Kim Kruzich aka Retro Mama.

She designs the cutest patterns, and her book is called ‘Scrap Happy Sewing’ – ahhhh, a girl after my own heart!

 

Apples

 

I’d seen these adorable apples (& pears) on Instagram, and found the pattern in Retro Mama’s Etsy shop.

 

Apples

 

There are 2 sizes included in the pattern.  I’ve made the ‘ornament’ size, finishing at only 3.75″ tall (including stem). The larger ‘pincushion’ apple finishes at 4.5″ tall (including stem).

 

Apples

 

I made these all from small scraps, and the smallest pieces of felt. It took longer to blanket stitch the stem and leaves than it did to sew up the apples!

 

Apples

 

It’s a really clever pattern – just look at those dimply bottoms!

As a pattern writer, I appreciate and enjoy using a well written pattern, especially when it produces the same results as the picture (wish I could say the same for my baking!!).

 

Apples

 

 

So if you need a new pincushion, teacher’s gift, or an adorable apple ornament, then this is the pattern for you!

 

Happy sewing!

 

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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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Selvedge Bookmark Tutorial


By Judith on September 17, 2017
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Hello everyone!

 

How are you doing?

 

I haven’t done a tutorial here in a long while, so I thought it was time to rectify that.

 

 

You know how I’m always saving fabric scraps? Well I even keep the part of the fabric most people chuck away!

 

If like me you love to read, or know an avid reader, how about a selvedge bookmark? The perfect fabric/book loving combo!!

 

The key to keeping usable selvedges is to allow at least a quarter of an inch of fabric above the text (the edge below the text is a sealed edge, not a raw edge).

 

 

Here’s the tutorial:

 

Materials:

 

A selection of selvedges (with at least 6mm/0.25” above the text)

4” x 10” piece of heavy sew-in vilene (or wadding)

4” x 10” piece of cotton fabric (back)

1 x 10mm eyelet

12” length of narrow ribbon

 

Method:

Assume ¼” seam allowance unless advised otherwise

 

  1. Angle the top corners of the vilene/wadding by measuring 1” from each corner along the top edge and 2” down from each corner along the sides

 

 

2. Place your first selvedge level with the bottom edge of the vilene/wadding (remember ¼” will be absorbed by the seam allowance).

 

 

3. Place the next selvedge on top, with the sealed edge covering the raw edge of the first selvedge. Stitch close to the sealed edge.

 

 

4. Continue adding selvedges in this way until all of the vilene/wadding is covered.

 

 

5. Flip the bookmark over to reveal the original shape of the vilene/wadding. Trim away the excess selvedges.

 

 

6. Place the backing fabric right sides together with the bookmark and sew around all sides, leaving a 2” gap in the middle of the bottom edge. Trim away the corners.

 

 

7.  Turn the bookmark right sides out through the gap in the lining. Push the corners well out and press.  Press under the raw edges of the gap.

 

8. Top stitch 1/8” from the edges on all sides, closing the gap as you go.

 

 

9. Insert an eyelet at the top of the bookmark, using the manufacturer’s instructions.

 

 

10. Thread the ribbon through the eyelet and knot to secure.

 

And you’re done!

 

 

Time to curl up in a squishy sofa, with a snuggly quilt and hot chocolate, and allow a good book to take you and your imagination to far flung places!

 

Happy selvedging!

 

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‘Around the World’ Birthday Quilt


By Judith on August 10, 2017
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Happy Thursday everyone!

 

It’s a happy day here at the Hollies Household because not only is the sun shining, we have just had gas installed in our new home! This means we now have long awaited hot water, cooking facilities and a little heat on chilly evenings!  #livinglikekings

 

The quilt I’d like to show you today is long overdue its reveal!

 

Around the World Quilt (Pretty Patches Magazine Aug17)

 

My middle daughter turned 18 last February, and I got her birthday quilt started at Brit Bee Retreat.

 

My daughter loves travel/world themes as well as old style items, images and graphics.  Also, she isn’t into pink or girly colours so much, so I knew I had to get the fabrics and colours just right.

 

Purchased from Lovely Jubbly Fabrics

 

I was browsing travel themed fabrics online and came across this Makower fabric called ‘Airmail Travel Stamp, Special Delivery!’  It was my perfect starting point and this became my ‘headline’ print.  I used the colours in this print to guide me through the rest of my stash and scrap boxes.

 

 

I didn’t want to chop the Airmail print up too small, so designed an ‘on point’ block where large sections of the headline print would appear in the secondary pattern, with scrappy pieced dividers.  A little white on white to separate the busyness and it all came together beautifully.

 

Around the World Quilt (Pretty Patches Magazine Aug17)

 

Keeping the scrappy prints to softer tones and small scale prints helped create an overall calm feel to the quilt.  My daughter’s bedroom is mostly neutral creams and greys so I didn’t want the overall look of the quilt to be too bright.

 

Around the World Quilt (Pretty Patches Magazine Aug17)

 

I managed to get the quilt almost completed by the end of February, just a few weeks late of the birth date.  And then a request came in from a magazine editor requesting a quilt for a summer edition!

 

Around the World Quilt (Pretty Patches Magazine Aug17)

 

This was the only quilt I had available in the tight timescale, so off it went to England, with an apology to my daughter for yet another delay on her quilt (she was most forgiving)!

 

The quilt was published in the August issue of Pretty Patches (still in the shops now) and it was returned to me yesterday!

 

Lucy's 18th Birthday Quilt (Around the World, Pretty Patches Aug17)

 

I could finally present it to my girl, who I’m pleased to say, loves it!

 

She travels to Norway in September for 6 months and only wishes she had room in her luggage to take it with her (she might well be needing it over there!).

 

So that is the story behind ‘Around the World’ Birthday Quilt.  Always a special make when it’s for a loved one, and only 6 months late!!

 

Happy travels!

 

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Mini Baby Basket & Bibs


By Judith on May 10, 2017
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My colleague in work had a bonny baby girl last week!

 

As we both work in a Quilting shop, it seemed only fitting to make her a quilted baby gift!

 

Baby basket & Bibs

 

I have loved Ayumi’s fabric basket pattern since she released it in 2008, and have made many in a variety of sizes as gifts for recipients of all ages!

 

The original size makes for an adorably cute baby gift, especially when it gets stuffed full of treats for mummy and baby!

 

Baby basket & Bibs

 

I recently blogged about my Ditsy Daisy Quilt, which used an uber cute collection by Lewis & Irene called Flos Little Flowers.

 

I had some leftover scraps from this quilt which I used to make the pretty girly mini basket and matching bibs.  Some Essex Yarn Dyed Linen for the base and a little crochet trim finished off the basket perfectly!

 

Baby basket & Bibs

 

For the bibs, I kept the patchwork simple, with a little panel of squares and ribbon trim.

 
Baby basket & Bibs

 

The bibs are backed with towelling, making them soft and absorbent for dribbly little mouths!  Using my own template I can get 5 bibs from one hand towel!  This time I stitched on little velcro circles for the fasteners.

 

Baby basket & Bibs

 

I like how the bibs make sweet little roll-ups to fit neatly into the basket!

 

Baby basket & Bibs

 

This is a sweet collection of prints I have very much enjoyed sewing with.  I hope you like them too!

 

Linking up with the fabulous ladies of Scraptastic Tuesday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tweed Hare Cushion


By Judith on April 30, 2017
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Hi everyone, can you believe we are through April already!!

 

It’s been an eventful month for me, especially this past week (more on that another day). But as always, there has been lots of sewing!

 

I have two great friends that I regularly breakfast with.  They have birthdays 2 months apart, and you may remember ‘Vi in Tweed’ made an appearance as one of these birthday gifts.

 

Harriet Hare in Tweed, Wool & Linen

 

For my other friend, I made ‘Harriet in Tweed’!  I recently inherited a lovely bag of tweed and wool, which set my heartbeat racing!!  I couldn’t wait to use them and immediately new a Tweed Hare Cushion was on the cards.

 

Harriet Hare in Tweed, Wool & Linen

 

I made the background in the same way as before, piecing strips of tweed and then quilting the seams onto wadding.

 

The main inspiration for this version of Harriet was a piece of vintage chintz linen.  It went perfectly with a piece of green tweed I found in the bag.

 

Harriet is my favourite of my Woodland Friends.  I used Irish linen for her face, ears, feet and tail.  There’s just something about her sweet, friendly smile that gets me every time!

 

This time, I satin stitch appliqued the pieces to the background (bondawebbing them first of course)!  I used Aurifil 12wt wool threads for the satin stitching, with a size 100 needle (just use your normal thread in the bobbin).

 

Harriet Hare in Tweed, Wool & Linen

 

It’s soooooo satisfying when you have just the right coloured threads!

 

Harriet Hare in Tweed

 

The back is an open weave tweed, trimmed with the chintz linen and a recycled duffle coat button to finish.

 

My breakfast friend is chuffed with Harriet.  So that’s two happy breakfast friends, with new Woodland Friends of their own!

 

 

Wishing you all a wonderful start to the new month!

 

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Mother’s Day Pot Holder!


By Judith on April 11, 2017
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I realise Mother’s Day is a while ago now, but I haven’t told you about a wee make I made my mum!

 

Pot Holder
I have made mum pot holders before, and was pleased to see them put to good use in her kitchen recently.

 

But continuous use means they get a little ‘worse for wear’ over time. So I thought a replacement was in order.

 

I mainly store my scraps in colour order, in a tall drawer stacker! But when I have leftovers from a particular collection, I will keep them together.

 

I had one such little bag of small 2″ squares leftover from a quilt project a few years ago. I can’t remember which fabric collection these are from, but I had just enough to create 9″ square pot holder.

 

 

Instead of using Insul Bright Heat Resistant wadding, I tried an extra thick compressed wadding (sold in the shop where I teach as ‘oven glove wadding’!).

 

I increased the stitch length and was able to quilt through it no problem.  I love the firmness and texture from the thicker wadding.

 

Pot Holder

 

Curving the corners and adding co-ordinating bias binding & a loop finished this quick little gift.  It only took an afternoon!

 

Pot Holder

 

I love how this pot holder has turned out!  Can you believe I don’t have a single one in my own kitchen!  I really must make myself a few, especially as they don’t take long, and let’s face it, I have oodles of scraps to choose from!

 

Linking up this hot pot holder with the Scraptastic Tuesday queens, Nicky and Leanne!

 

Happy sewing!

 

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A Family of Owls!


By Judith on February 19, 2017
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A lovely ‘owl loving’ friend of mine had her birthday this weekend!

 

Family of Owls Wallhanging

 

‘Olive Owl’ first made an appearance in my Woodland Friends quilt last year.  (And I’m currently teaching this quilt in my classes – it’s been so lovely watching a beautiful ‘Parliament of Owls’ appear!)

 

I adapted the pattern to create mummy owl, and her 3 babies on this Essex Linen wallhanging.

 

Family of Owls Wallhanging

 

I love satin stitch applique, scraps and mini quilts wallhangings! And I’m pleased to say that my friend (a talented quilter herself) does too!

I managed to source an Owl wire hanger too (no pics sorry!).

 

Family of Owls Wallhanging

 

So these cute birds are now too-wit too-woo-ing their way into their new home!

 

It’s a while since I’ve linked up to Nicky and Leanne’s Scraptastic Tuesday!  Great to be checking in again with the many other talented scrap-busters out there!

 

Happy tweeting!

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Another Denim Pouch!


By Judith on January 11, 2017
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I hope you aren’t tired of seeing my denim pouches!

 

Denim EPP pouch

 

I was woefully late getting a birthday present to my friend, but now that she has it I can show it to you!

 

Denim EPP pouch

 

This one is a little different from my other denim pouches.  I thought I would keep hexies as the dominant theme this time.

 

Denim EPP pouch
the back

My Sizzix cutting machine makes light work cutting through the denim. And because I enjoying EPP-ing hexies so much, there are more hexies on the back, with just a hint of Aurifil Wool thread featuring in the base (couldn’t resist)!

 

Denim EPP pouch

 

Sometimes denim can feel a little masculine, so I made sure to add some feminine touches with the floral lining and pink zip!

 

Denim EPP pouch

 

While this pouch has been made from recycled textiles, I haven’t even made a dent in my hoard!

I guess I’ll just have to think up a few more ways to use denim!

Linking up with Nicky and Leanne’s Scraptastic Tuesday!

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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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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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KITS!


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!

 

Eeeeekkkkk!

 

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?

 

p1130091

 

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

 

Hexie Framed Purse Kit:

 

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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.

 

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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:

p1120644

 

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.

 

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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.

 

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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’.

 

p1130122

 

 

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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Free Storage Caddy Pattern


By Judith on November 30, 2016
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Hi everyone, I hope your week is going well.  Can you believe it’s December tomorrow?!

 

And you know what that means!!

 

p1130050

 

Giveaway time!  I’ll be announcing the winner of my Tula Pink giveaway tomorrow evening, so if you haven’t already entered, just sign up for my newsletter (right) and/or like my Facebook page here.

And 18 fat quarters aren’t the only free items I’m giving away!

How about a free pattern?

 

p1090379

 

This is my Storage Caddy, as seen in Pretty Patches Magazine.

 

It is 7″ tall with 7″ diameter and can be used to keep lots of bits and bobs in order.  You could use it in the sewing room, the nursery, the bathroom, even on your bedroom dressing table!

 

P1030831

 

This pattern will give you a flavour of how I structure and present all my patterns.

 

So if you fancy having a go at this ‘beginner friendly’ pattern it is available for free download here.

 

(If you have trouble downloading the pattern, please let me know and I will email the pattern to you.  We have been having a few teething problems on the new site, but are working hard to get you a fully functional service!)

 

At the start of my patterns, you get a ‘Good to Know’ section (you can see this section before purchasing). This is where you can get all the essential information e.g. if a zipper foot is required, main techniques, best fabrics to use etc.

 

presentation2

 

The rest of the pattern is then made up of the following headings:

 

presentation1

 

There are step by step colour photos throughout the Make It section, and all templates have been professionally art-worked.

 

I have worked hard to ensure that my patterns are as easy to follow as I can make them.  It is my desire that you can use a pattern confidently at home, without needing a teacher on hand to make sense of it!!

 

 

But I’m always up for constructive feedback!  Let me know what you think of the Storage Caddy pattern, or any others.

 

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.

 

p1130050

 

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.

 

christmas-gift-bag-tutorial-jpg

 

 

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

 

p1130021

 

Method:

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.

 

presentation1

 

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).

 

p1130025

 

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’!)

 

p1130027

 

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.

 

p1130028

 

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

 

p1130029

 

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.

 

p1130031

 

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

 

p1130032

 

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

 

p1130034

 

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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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

 

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

 

p1130048

 

 

Happy sewing!

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Hexie Stars Quilt


By Judith on November 10, 2016
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I’m one of hundreds of quilters who love hexies!

I’ve even got a Pinterest board dedicated to them!

And machine sewing hexies isn’t as tricky as you might think (and no, I’m not talking about Y seams!).

One way to make machine sewing hexies easier is to use pre-cut fabric like a layer cake, and create star points in the spaces between the hexies.
p1040637

 

The hexies and their star points are then sewn together in rows – Simples!

 

step-1

 

And there are great templates out there that make cutting the hexies super quick and easy.  I particularly like these ones from Missouri Star Quilt Company.

Here are 2 Hexie Star Quilts I’ve made in the last 2 years ….

 

Autumn Hexie Stars Quilt
Autumn Hexies with Essex Yarn Dyed Linen (Flax)

 

Hexie Stars Quilt class sample
Sweetwater’s ‘Noteworthy’ with Navy solid

… and here is the one in the current issue of British Patchwork & Quilting:

 

P1100277

 

I made this one as a ‘man quilt’ with Sweetwater’s ‘Elementary’ and Essex Yard Dyed Linen. And they put it on the front cover!!

 

Hexie Stars Quilt (BPQ Nov16)

 

So if you like hexies as much as me, why not have a go!
And if you are looking for a gift, both my Essex Linen Hexie Stars Quilts will soon be for sale (watch this space!).
Happy Hexing!
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Folksy Tea Cosy


By Judith on September 23, 2016
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Sewing World asked me to make a Scandi inspired Tea Cosy for their October issue.

After much deliberation I broke with tradition and chose felt to best illustrate my design.

Folksy Tea Cosy

I used my trusty Essex Yarn Dyed Linen (Flax) for the background.  I think the rustic linen gives a lovely foundation for the tactile felt.

I bondawebbed the shapes down (took quite a bit of heat to adhere) and then had to decide on how to applique them.

Folksy Tea Cosy

 

I haven’t free motion sketched on felt before so wasn’t sure if my risky decision would pay off.  But I’m really pleased with the added texture it gives to the felt.

Folksy Tea Cosy

I hope you like my cute cosy, and my nod to all things Folksy!

(The October issue of Sewing World is in the shops now.)
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Hexie Notebook Cover


By Judith on September 15, 2016
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Today is the 2nd Tuesday of the month!  And that means Scraptastic Tuesday!

It’s a while since I’ve linked up with Nicky and Leanne. But I’ve actually had some time recently to play with hexie scraps!
Hexie Notebook Cover

 

This notebook cover fits an A5 spiral notebook and uses 36 English Paper Pieced 1″ hexies, the perfect size for using up those smaller scraps.
Hexie Notebook cover

 

I also experimented a little with some Aurifil 12wt wool thread.  I like the way these thicker threads sit proud on the Essex Yarn Dyed Linen.
Hexie Notebook Cover
Hexie Notebook Cover
These notebook covers come together really quickly once the hexie panel is made. And they are a ‘go to present’ when one of the kids needs a last minute gift for a friend.
Hexie Notebook Cover
So what are you making with your scraps?
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