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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Another Sew Together Bag


By Judith on June 12, 2017
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Happy Monday to you all!

 

It’s almost the end of my teaching term here in Belfast.  There has been a hive of activity across my 4 classes and it’s always a joy seeing completed quilts, bags, wallhangings and more.

 

This term, a number of my ladies have been making the Sew Together Bag, by Sew Demented.

 

The first Sew Together Bag I made at Brit Bee Retreat.  While there were a few sections of the pattern which could have been better illustrated, I was able to independently complete the bag (with only a couple of peeks at my friend’s pouch!).

 

 

I’ve designed and made many pouches and bags, but my classes are mixed abilities.  So by way of preparation for teaching this pattern, I knew I needed to make another bag, taking additional notes, tips and improvements for my ladies.

 

 

A while  ago a good friend bought me the cutest little fat quarter bundle from Pretty Fabrics and Trims.

 

I’ve been saving them for just the right project and knew they would work well with some Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in Flax.

 

Sew Together Bag June17

 

However, I didn’t have quite the right quantities for the Sew Together Bag, but some Tilda prints married beautifully with them.

 

Sew Together Bag June17

 

Now I may have a not so secret stash of vintage lace and trims!

 

Vintage lace & trim

 

What better time to use a delicate piece of textile history to finish off the patchwork panel on my bag.

 

Sew Together Bag June17

 

Never one to miss a recycling opportunity, the charm from a broken bracelet became my zipper pull.

 

Sew Together Bag June17

 

So that’s my 2nd Sew Together Bag!

 

Sew Together Bag June17

 

But I wish you could see the amazing bags my ladies have made!  They are all so different and all beautiful!

 

A satisfying end to the summer term.

 

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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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!!

 

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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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Mori Girl Travel Pouch


By Judith on July 11, 2016
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Travel Washbag

If you are lucky enough to be heading off on your travels this summer, you might need a giant pouch to keep all those toiletries and suncreams in!!

Travel Washbag

The lovely peeps at Quilt Now sent me the cutest fabrics by Dashwood Studios called Mori Girl!

Travel Washbag
As you can see, this pouch has stacks of room, with a zipper inserted along the top finished edge.
Additional features are a narrow piping trim on the outside and a detachable ‘wet bag’ for your toothbrush and cloth.
Travel Washbag
The ‘wet bag’ is lined with Rip-stop nylon, a sturdy wipeable and machine washable fabric. You could easily line the travel pouch with Rip-stop too and turn it into a wash bag.
The pattern for this travel pouch is in the July issue of Quilt Now, in the shops now!
Happy travels!
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Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced?


By Judith on May 15, 2016
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As a pattern writer, I’m always interested in how other designers and companies rate their patterns according to ability levels.

Until now, I have been reserved about ‘grading’ my patterns.

You see, unless I know your background and attitude to sewing, it would be hard to recommend to you a ‘beginner’, ‘intermediate’ or ‘advanced’ quilting pattern.

I’ve been teaching people to sew and quilt for nearly 8 years.  I’ve seen complete beginners take on technical patterns with a ‘bring it on’ attitude and totally nail it.  I’ve seen seasoned sewists attempt beginner level techniques for the first time and have near nervous break-downs!  And I’ve seen everything in between.

One thing I’ve learned is that your APPROACH and ATTITUDE to your learning is key!

Yes of course we have different learning styles; yes of course we have our preferred techniques and comfort zones. Sometimes additional support or explanation is needed from others, and of course experience can count for something. But never underestimate the power of a mind that is open and teachable to new things. (I also find a healthy dose of patience and determination go a long way too!)

Old Spools clothed in Liberty scraps


No matter how long I’ve been sewing for, I still have much to learn.  When I try out a new technique for the first time, I become a beginner all over again!

We all have different perspectives of what these terms mean. I get ‘beginners’ in my classes who have never used a rotary cutter before, and some who have; some already know how to use a sewing machine and some don’t! Some know what quarter inch seams and fat quarters are, and others look at me like I’ve got 2 heads!  The term ‘beginner’ can be quite a broad umbrella!

Trying to define such subjective terms as ‘beginner’, ‘intermediate’ or ‘advanced’ within nebulus parameters isn’t always helpful.  For instance, a pattern marketed as ‘intermediate’ or ‘advanced’ may put off someone who has been sewing for only a short time (and yet would be more than able to complete it), or someone who has been sewing for years but hasn’t tried much variety in their sewing. Equally, a ‘beginner’ graded pattern may rob a veteran sewer of the joy of a satisfyingly quick and uncomplicated make (my favourite kind!).

I appreciate that guidelines are sometimes needed, even if they are out in the ball park somewhere! I’m not against patterns being graded (though perhaps a more informative explanation should be given about the techniques involved, rather than just the typical 2 out of 5 stars/spools/scissors rating for example.)

What I’m not keen on is someone else, like me, or any other pattern writer, telling YOU what you are capable of achieving or not achieving. YOU are in charge of your learning.

So my questions to you are these?

How helpful are pattern gradings to you?
Do you pay much attention to them?
Would you like to see more of them?
Do you find a disparity between the levels across different pattern producers?
Do you define your sewing ability by one of these categories?

I’m keen to hear your thoughts on this.  At the moment I”m reviewing some of my existing patterns and writing new ones! Your comments will help me enormously.

Thank you,


Jude xo 

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