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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Octosaurus Rex Quilt


By Judith on May 10, 2018
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Hello there!

 

We have just had a wonderful bank holiday weekend here in UK.  And what made it so wonderful?  The beautiful sunny weather!

 

I spent the bank holiday Monday in Florence Court, Enniskillen, with 2 of my girls, having lots of photo fun, and enjoying this wonderful National Trust house.

 

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Florence Court May18

 

It was a beautiful day, learning all about the women (upstairs and downstairs) in Florence Court’s history.

 

Also this week, the current issue of Quilt Now hit the shops, and in it you can find my Octosaurus Rex Quilt, designed for Makower using their Rex Collection of fabrics.

 

Octosaurus Rex (Quilt Now May18)

 

This quilt design is full of secondary patterns, and the larger Placement print is perfect for fussy cutting.

 

Octosaurus Rex (Quilt Now May18)

 

Here’s what I wrote as my source of inspiration:

 

“I live not far from the Giant’s Causeway, a 60 million year old formation of multi-sided volcanic stones. So I thought it would be fun to design Jurassic sized shapes around these cute dinosaur fussy cuts and fabrics. The Octagon blocks slot neatly side by side just like the stones at the Giant’s Causeway!”  

 

Octosaurus Rex (Quilt Now May18)

 

There is a lot of piecing in this quilt, and it is a decent size at 60″ x 72″.  However you could easily reduce the number of blocks and make a smaller quilt for a younger dinosaur lover!

 

Octosaurus Rex (Quilt Now May18)

 

So if you have a little one who is mad about all things Jurassic, then these fabrics are your perfect choice!

 

You can see the full collection here, and my Octosaurus Rex Quilt pattern is also available via the Makower UK website.

 

Happy sewing!

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Tilda Table Cloth


By Judith on May 29, 2017
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Hello everyone! I hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend!

 

I had a fun few days with my best quilty buddies, up a mountain, with glorious sunshine and sheep for company (there may also have been lots of cake and buns)!

 

Threads Across the Sea Retreat May17
L-R: Me, Trudi, Sarah, Di aka ‘Threads Across the Sea’ 

 

Threads Across the Sea Retreat May17

Threads Across the Sea Retreat May17

Threads Across the Sea Retreat May17

 

There was lots of sewing done too, but alas I can’t show you that just yet.

 

What I can show you is a summery table cloth I made for the May issue of Pretty Patches magazine.

 

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The clever peeps at Tilda Fabrics came up with a beautiful collection earlier this year called Bumblebee.

 

 

If you are a regular visitor here, you will know how much I adore Tilda fabrics.  And this collection is no exception. Ditsy flowers and some of my all time favourite colours together – what’s not to love!

 

Tilda Table Cloth (Pretty Patches May17)

 

So when Pretty Patches offered me a bundle of Bumblebee to work with, I jumped at the chance!

 

I wanted to keep the design large scale to let the fabrics do all the talking.

 

Tilda Table Cloth (Pretty Patches May17)

 

Also, to maintain some drape, I didn’t use wadding, but simply ‘bagged’ the top and backing together.

 

One of the reasons why I love Tilda fabrics so much is because of their vintage vibe (and I love all things vintagey!).  So a lacey trim around the edge seemed a fitting finish.

 

P1130343

 

All I need now is for the summer sunshine to return for a little al fresco dining on my new table cloth!

 

Tilda Table Cloth (Pretty Patches May17)

 

Happy sewing!

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Chevron Heaven Quilt


By Judith on April 7, 2017
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I love Chevron quilts! They are simple to make and are so versatile in providing many different designs.

 

One of the simplest ways to make chevrons is using half square triangles, and with clever fabric placement, or mixing up your fabric ‘values’ (low volume, high volume) you can achieve all sorts of wonderful patterns.

 

 

When the editor of Popular Patchwork sent me her mood board for the April issue, the colours were earthy and saturated and I saw a glimpse of a chevron pattern in there.

 

So I pulled out all my Kona solids that fit the brief and went to work designing a chevron inspired quilt.

 

Chevron Heaven Quilt (April17 Popular Patchwork Magazine)
12 shades of Kona made it into the final quilt!

 

For me these colours represent transition – moving out of a long dark winter and into the new life of spring. Little hits of prints mixed in with the solids are like those glimpses of colour and growth you see coming out in the garden at this time of year.

 

Chevron Heaven Quilt (April17 Popular Patchwork Magazine)
I wanted to break up the continuity of the half square triangle chevrons with narrower rows, and so designed a simple foundation pieced template for these.  If you’ve never tried foundation piecing before, this would be a great, non-threatening project to start with!

 

 

Foundation piecing is a little more time consuming than normal piecing, but it’s definitely worth it to get those crisp, sharp points!

 

Chevron Heaven Quilt (Popular Patchwork April17)

 

The organic wavy quilting lines create a sense of movement through the angular peaks and troughs of the chevrons.  And I backed it with trusty Ikea Numbers cotton.

 

 

Chevron Heaven Quilt (Popular Patchwork April17)

 

The magazine also includes a double page feature on how to style a room around Chevron Heaven!  What a neat idea!

 

Chevron Heaven Quilt (Popular Patchwork April17)

 

The April issue of Popular Patchwork is in the shops now!

And Chevron Heaven is now listed in my shop for sale!

Happy sewing!

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Home Sweet Home Wallhanging


By Judith on March 20, 2017
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Hello everyone, we are well into Spring here, and the April issues of quilting magazines are hitting the shops!

 

Home Sweet Home Spring Wallhanging (British Patchwork & Quilting magazine April17)

 

In keeping with the Spring theme, I designed a birdhouse wallhanging for British Patchwork & Quilting (April issue).

 

 

One of the things I love about Spring is the sound of chirping birds in my garden. I had this cute birdhouse fabric in my stash, (Sugar Hill ‘Birdy in Pink’ by Tanya Whelan) and I drew inspiration from there.  Can you see little birdhouses in the fabric?  That got me thinking about the little birdhouses in my Woodland Friends quilt.

 

So a few template alterations later, and I had the basis of a spring-time wallhanging.

 

Home Sweet Home Spring Wallhanging (British Patchwork & Quilting magazine April17)

 

Before fusing any of the shapes to the Essex linen background, I quilted the background in a grid pattern, with calico behind the wadding. (The finished wallhanging is double backed, which means after all the other applique is complete, a pretty back of more cute ‘Sugar Hill’ fabric is attached.)

 

 

Satin stitch applique is one of my favourite ways to applique, and luckily I had a fat quarter of fabric with love birds printed on it.  I simply cut these out, bondawebbed them to the birdhouses and stitched round them.

 

Home Sweet Home Spring Wallhanging (British Patchwork & Quilting magazine April17)

 

The lettering required a little more thought.  I enlarged a cursive font of the word ‘sweet’, transferred it to fabric and got it satin stitched in place. I knew I wanted a contrast in the lettering of ‘home’ so I drew the words on with a water soluble pen and free motion sketched over them.

 

Home Sweet Home Spring Wallhanging (British Patchwork & Quilting magazine April17)

 

I’m really digging curvy corners at the moment, and shaping the top corners on this wallhanging removed some excess negative space which better balanced out the proportions of the design.

 

 

Some standard quilt binding and a few hanging tabs later and voila!  A Birdhouse wallhanging to welcome Spring into your home!

 

The wallhanging measures 19.75″ x 16.5″ and it made front cover of British Patchwork & Quilting magazine.  Woohoo!

 

Home Sweet Home Spring Wallhanging (British Patchwork & Quilting magazine April17)

 

Happy chirping!

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Autumn Garden Quilt


By Judith on November 3, 2016
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I spent the weekend in Derby with my 3 favourite girls!

Derby Oct16
My eldest daughter turned 21 at the end of October and it was so lovely celebrating with her in the most inspiring surroundings!
Derby Oct16
Derby Oct16
Derby Oct16

Derby Oct16

 

Derby Oct16
Derby Oct16

Autumn is such a beautiful season. But it’s time to put on an extra layer, turn the thermostat up another few notches, and bring out the cosy quilts.

The November issue of Popular Patchwork is in the shops, and in it you’ll find my Autumn Garden Quilt.

Autumn Garden Quilt (Popular Patchwork Nov16)

This is a small quilt (53″ square), but I’m a little bit in love with it (I love curvilicious quilts)!!

For a while now I’ve been wanting to make the ‘drunkard’s path’ flower, and I think the saturated tones of Denyse Schmidt’s Chicopee and Shelburne Falls give these flowers a cosy autumnal feel.

Autumn Garden Quilt (Popular Patchwork Nov16)

I’ve used my trusty Essex Yarn Dyed linen (black) for the background and whizzed the fabrics through my Sizzix Drunkard’s Path dies (657168 fan background & 657169 quarter circle).

Autumn Garden Quilt (Popular Patchwork Nov16)

And this quilt could easily translate into another season (think fresh Spring fabrics!).
I hope you are keeping warm and cosy this Autumn!
Happy sewing!
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Bee Block Bonanza!


By Judith on October 20, 2016
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I support 2 charity quilting groups – Bee Blessed and Siblings Together.

This means making different blocks for them each month, which is a non-demanding way of supporting these wonderful causes.

Here is a wee round up of my recent bee blocks.

In Bee Blessed, we were making Woven blocks in pastels for September …..

Bee Blessed Blocks (Sept16)

…. and Wonky Cross blocks in ‘male appropriate’ colours for October.

Bee Blessed blocks (Oct16)

In Siblings Together Bee 2 I got to set the block for September, and requested Canvas blocks, in any 2 colour-ways. Here are what I have received from the other ladies in the bee:

Canvas blocks for STB2 Sept16

I only need to make 5 more blocks, and after putting it out for consultation (asking a few sewing friends on FB!) it was decided that I should make the remaining blocks in purple, yellow, pink & green!

Oct16 STB2 blocks for Jenny/Lilac Cat

October’s blocks in STB2 are these fabulously scrappy 16″ blocks. These were so much fun to make, because they were scrappy (my fav) and the irregular improv angles meant they were super quick too!

So that’s me up-to-date with my bee commitments!

And it’s half-way through October already! So I’ll leave you with a few of my recent Autumn pics!

Autumn Oct16
Autumn Oct16
Autumn Oct16
Autumn Oct16

Happy scrunching!

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Woodland Friends Quilt


By Judith on September 21, 2016
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Happy Tuesday everyone!

I’m super excited to be able to show you some of my new friends!

Woodland Friends Quilt (Popular Patchwork, Oct issue)

This is my Woodland Friends quilt, made with Aneela Hoey’s ‘Foxgloves’ & ‘Vignette’ collections on an Essex linen background.
It all started with a commission from Popular Patchwork to make an Autumnal/Woodland quilt.

Woodland Friends Quilt (Popular Patchwork Oct16)

I found a picture of a fox and started drawing over it! And so ‘Vi’ Vixen was born!

Woodland Friends Quilt (Popular Patchwork Oct16)

But Vi needed a friend to play with, so ‘Rusty Red’ came out to play!

Woodland Friends Quilt (Popular Patchwork Oct16)

 

Now Rusty is a cheeky chappie, and he and Vi get up to all sorts of mischief. Especially when sleepy ‘Flora’ Fawn is trying to nap ….

Woodland Friends Quilt (Popular Patchwork Oct16)

 

…. and ‘Boris’ is busy sniffing and rustling out tasty treats on the forest floor!

Woodland Friends Quilt (Popular Patchwork Oct16)

 

‘Olive’, the great and wise overseer of the Woodland is tut tutting at Vi and Rusty!

Woodland Friends Quilt (Popular Patchwork Oct16)

 

She sends in ‘Harriet’ Hare, the only sensible fur in the whole forest, to keep harmony between the rascals, the nappers and the rustlers!

Woodland Friends Quilt (Popular Patchwork Oct16)

 

 

Order once again is restored and all the friends can enjoy the treats of the forest!
Woodland Friends Quilt (Popular Patchwork Oct16)
Woodland Friends Quilt (Popular Patchwork Oct16)

 

I so enjoyed designing and making this quilt. The characters evolved organically, and they have become like little characters to me!
I chose satin stitch applique for this quilt, using ‘stitch n tear’ behind the bondawebbed shapes.

Woodland Friends Quilt (Popular Patchwork Oct16)

 

Next came the tricky decision on how to quilt it!  I couldn’t bring myself to sew through my cute new friends (I tried, honestly!).  So in the end I went for ‘interrupted’ vertical lines.
And to top it all off, Popular Patchwork put my Woodland Friends on the front cover of the October issue!  Weehee!

Woodland Friends Quilt (Popular Patchwork, Oct issue)

 

 

I hope you have enjoyed meeting my new pals.
And what would you think to me running this as an applique Quilt-Along next year?
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Scrappy Strips Quilt


By Judith on September 15, 2016
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I think it’s time I said farewell to summer!

My first ever harvest of apples!

 

We have enjoyed an Indian summer here, but temperatures are starting to drop and I’m feeling the need for an extra layer!

So just enough time to show you my last ‘summer’ quilt.

Scrappy Strips Quilt (British P&Q Sept16)
Photo: British Patchwork & Quilting Magazine

This is imaginatively called the ‘Scrappy Strips Quilt’ (‘it does exactly what it says on the tin!’). Scrappy quilts are my all time favourite, and I had so much fun one weekend delving into a pile of scrappy strips and sewing them together.

 

Scrappy Strips Quilt (British P&Q Sept16)
Photo: British Patchwork & Quilting Magazine


The coloured strips are of varying widths and very little thought went into what strip got sewed on next.  I don’t even like all of the fabrics in this quilt, but I LOVE the finished look.  That’s the magic which happens when a little bit of courage and random fabrics get mixed together.I love making strip pieced blocks.  I used 2″ white strips through each block, but that’s pretty much where the uniformity ends!
Scrappy Strips Quilt (British Patchwork & Quilting Sept16)


The quilt is currently in the September issue of British Patchwork & Quilting Magazine, and measures a decent 66″ x 77″.  I could easily have gone bigger, I hardly made a dent in my scraps!
Scrappy Strips Quilt (British Patchwork & Quilting Sept16)

So it’s goodbye summer, and hello beautiful Autumn!
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Almost Autumn!


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

Crawfordsburn Aug16


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

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

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

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


By Judith on July 21, 2016
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We’ve been experiencing something of a mini heatwave here in the UK this week!

Almost too hot to get out and enjoy some local delights (well, I did say almost!).

Castle Ward July16
view from Castle Ward
Castle Ward July16
Castle Ward July16

 

Bangor Walled Gardens July16
Bangor Walled Gardens

 

Bangor Walled Gardens July16
Bangor Walled Gardens July16


While my sewing room has been ‘closed’ for 2 weeks, it’s the perfect time of year to show you my Summer Rail Fence quilt!

Summer Rail Fence Quilt (Pretty Patches Aug16)


This pattern is in the August issue of Pretty Patches (out now) and was the result of a fun weekend earlier in the year playing with scrappy strips!

Summer Rail Fence Quilt (Pretty Patches Aug16)


I love the summery combo of oranges, soft yellows, pinks and teals, combined with the earthy brown stripe. Just look at the lovely styling it gets on the coordinated orange front cover!

Summer Rail Fence Quilt (Pretty Patches Aug16)


The rail fence design is a classic, but there are many ways to give it a modern twist! And it is beginner friendly piecing too!

Summer Rail Fence Quilt (Pretty Patches Aug16)

This would be an easy quilt to make for other seasons (think fresh Spring greens and yellows, warm Autumnal plums and browns) or even a Christmas version!

Summer Rail Fence Quilt (Pretty Patches Aug16)


And of course, a great scrap buster project too!

Wishing you all some fun in the sun!signature

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S.H.O.P. Tote Bag


By Judith on June 11, 2016
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It’s been a crazy busy week here!

But the sun has been shining and my friendly flowers are making an appearance once again.

 

 

 

I haven’t even had time to tell you about the rest of my magazine entries this month!

SHOP tote (Quilt Now June16)


Quilt Now sent me some lush Alison Glass fabrics (Endpaper) for a ‘WORD’ themed bag.

The design for the letters came together surprisingly easily – straightforward piecing (there will definitely be more pieced letters in my design future).

I love how the colours really stand out against the Essex Linen (Flax).

SHOP tote (Quilt Now June16)
Lining by Michael Miller Mini Chic Chevron


There’s also a sneaky little pop of colour behind the straps.

SHOP tote (Quilt Now June16)
So for all you shopaholics out there, this one is for you!
SHOP tote (Quilt Now June16)

 

The June issue of Quilt Now is Out Now!
Happy Shopping!

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Bee-utiful!


By Judith on May 29, 2016
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I knew summer was just around the corner!

Rowallane National Trust House & Gardens May16


The particular corner today was Rowallane House and Gardens, owned by National Trust.

Rowallane National Trust May16
Rowallane National Trust May16
Rowallane National Trust May16

A truly inspiring place with the ‘all time’ best climbing tree ever!

Not too many bees around yet, but here are some ‘bee’ blocks I’ve been making.

Quarter Log Cabin blocks for STB2


First up, Corner Log Cabin blocks for Siblings Together Bee 2. The special request from Charlo on these blocks were reds, blues and greys. Another boy quilt perhaps?

June blocks for Bee Blessed


And the Bee Blessed Blocks for May are Sarah’s Frame Box Blocks (try saying all of that after a glass of wine!).

Sarah has written a brill tutorial for these super quick and scrappy friendly blocks here.  And to see more about the wonderful ladies behind Bee Blessed, see some rare footage here.  They are doing an amazing job, and blessing so many people and families.  If you can support this great work by making a block or two I know they would love to hear from you.

Happy sewing!

Jude xo

 

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Attic Crosses Quilt


By Judith on May 25, 2016
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Hello everyone!

How are you all doing? Every now and then we get a glimpse of summer here, and my garden is loving it (that of course means my grass is growing faster than the weeds!!).

My garden May16


I’ve been beavering away on some secret squirrel stuff, can’t wait to tell you all about it soon!

In the meantime, I’m so excited to share with you my modern Attic Crosses Quilt, commissioned by Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine (my first with LPQ).

Attic Crosses Quilt (LPQ June16)
Photo courtesy of LPQ

This is also my first quilt made entirely of Kona Solids. 

 

The talented peeps at LPQ had a hand in choosing the solids.  They are Iron, Dusty Blue, Wasabi, Silver, White and Dusty Peach on the back.
I forgot to take my own pics of the quilt before sending it off, so that’s another photo-shoot I need to do when I get the quilt back!
The June issue of Love Patchwork and Quilting is jammed packed with trendy designs, including a stunning hexie quilt by my super-talented friend, Svetlana.
Grab your copy in the shops now (but pay for it first!).
Happy reading!

 

P.s. thank you to everyone for joining the discussion about pattern gradings in my last post. I have enjoyed all your comments and am taking your feedback on board. If you didn’t get a reply from me, it means you are a ‘no reply comment blogger’ and your email address doesn’t register with your comment.

Jude xo

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Light And Leaves!


By Judith on April 20, 2016
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We had the most gloriously sunny day today!

I tried to capture the light on the limited features in my small garden.

Light in my garden
Light in my garden
Light in my garden
Light in my garden
Isn’t light so inspiring, and seems to make everyone feel much more positive! One of my daughter’s names means ‘bringer of light’ and she does just that, every day!
And here are a few more leaves to tell you about!
Applique Leaf Cushion (Sewing World May16)
Photo courtesy of Sewing World Magazine

This is my Applique Leaves Cushion in the current (May) issue of Sewing World, out now!
Applique can be a little intimidating for novices, especially when thinking of satin or blanket stitching the edges.
‘Raw edge applique’ is a great way to introduce new shapes and pictures to your quilting.

 

This pattern uses bondaweb to fix the stem and leaves in place, and simple top stitching close to the raw edges completes the picture. No special foot needed, no changing the stitch settings on your machine.  Simple, fun and quick!
So if you’ve never tried applique yet, why not have a go at raw edge applique!  The possibilities are endless!
Happy sewing!
Jude xo

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Spring Rain Quilt!


By Judith on April 14, 2016
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Spring rain is something we get lots of here in N.Ireland!!  In fact we also get lots of Summer, Autumn and Winter rain too!

But I’m hoping you could live with this kind of spring rain all year round!!

Spring Rain Quilt (April Issue Pretty Patches)
63″ x 63″

 


This is my ‘Spring Rain’ quilt, as seen in the April issue of Pretty Patches.

Pretty Patches very kindly sent me the cutest bundle of fabrics called ‘Spring Walk’ by Little Cube.

Spring Walk

While spring can inspire many images, I immediately thought of raindrops (I wonder why!!) and showcased the fabrics in raindrop shaped portholes.

Spring Rain Quilt (April Issue Pretty Patches)
I really enjoyed making this quilt and it was such a lovely bonus to see it on the front cover!
Spring Rain Quilt (April issue Pretty Patches)
One of the many things I love about spring is that it is the season of growth!  I have been doing a lot of personal growing lately, getting fitter physically and mentally.
And all the new growth in my little garden is a lovely reminder that no matter what is going on in our lives, there are always new opportunities to grow!
My garden (spring)
My garden (spring)
My garden (spring)

Happy growing!
Jude xo

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Table Runner & Mats!


By Judith on March 28, 2016
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Seapark, Holywood

It was a typical spring day here today!  Sunshine and showers!

 

Seapark, Holywood

 

Our walk along the beach was what you would call ‘bracing’! But no matter the season, there is always beauty to be found.

 

Seapark, Holywood

 

Back in the warmth of the indoors, let’s talk table runners!

 

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

 

This is my Drunkard’s Path Table Runner and Mats set, as featured in the April issue of British Patchwork & Quilting.

 

DP Table Runner & Placemats - British Patchwork & Quilting (April16)

The inspiration for this design came from the lovely Aylin, who I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in person (love our blogging community!).  Aylin very kindly gave me permission to develop this design further, following the beautiful cushion she made.

 

DP Table Runner & Placemats - British Patchwork & Quilting (April16)
The curves are achieved by using an age old patchwork technique called ‘drunkard’s path’.  This is a modern twist, and I love the many variations the Drunkard’s Path units can create.
It is important to cut out the templates accurately when tackling curved piecing, but if you have a Sizzix cutting machine, you are guaranteed speed and accuracy! The Drunkard’s Patch Sizzix dies don’t come cheap, (you need 2 dies to make up the DP unit) but in my opinion they are well worth the money.
DP Table Runner & Placemats - British Patchwork & Quilting (April16)

There are several ways to sew curves, and as with any technique you haven’t tried before, I recommend practicing on some fabric scraps first. This pattern explains the ‘no pin’ method of sewing curves, which may seem daunting at first, but it is much quicker than traditional methods and you quickly get into a rhythm with it.

 

So if you love sewing curves as much as me, pick up a copy of BPQ today!

Edited: This pattern is now available to purchase from here.

 

Keep warm!

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Happy Easter!


By Judith on March 26, 2016
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Here in the UK, the clocks go forward an hour.  That means 1 hour less sleep tonight (boo!).

But it also means 1 hour closer to Easter Day (yay!).
Easter Day is a very important day to me and my faith.  I hope you enjoy your day, how ever you celebrate it.
I’ll leave you with a few of my favourite pics from our recent visit to Mounstewart, Co. Down.

My Girls
Mountstewart March16

Mountstewart March16

Mountstewart March16

My Girls

Happy Easter!

Jude xo

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Marvellous March!


By Judith on March 1, 2016
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Despite the rather damp and dull day today, it’s so lovely to officially start spring!

February may have been a shorter month, but it was a busy one for me!

Feb'16 Roundup

Mostly sneak peeks here again I’m afraid, and one or two of these not made (but published) in February.  But I will tell you about them all in time.

And here are my bee blocks for February:

Reverse Churn Dash blocks for Bee Blessed
Bee Blessed

L-R: Brit Bee R4 block for Ceri; Hedgehog blocks for Anne/Siblings Together Bee 2

So that’s my round-up for February!

And before I go, a wee shout out for donations of fat quarters for my bloggy friend Sheila, who is raising funds for Yorkhill Children’s Hospital in Glasgow, and a special little girl called Beth.  You can read more about Beth’s story and Sheila’s fund raiser here.

Jude xo

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Photo Fun!


By Judith on February 29, 2016
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I love taking photos in my parents’ garden!
Mum & Dad's garden

Mum & Dad's Garden
Mum & Dad's Garden

 

And the outakes…….

Jude xo

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