3 and leave a comment here or on FB or IG telling me what’s your favourite textile to work with.
You have until Monday 18th November to enter, when I will announce the winner (international entries welcome). (Please ensure you leave your email address with your comment if you are a ‘no reply blogger’.)
It was a milestone weekend in the Hollies’ household!
I dropped my baby off at University of Liverpool to start her 3 year degree, and came back to an empty nest.
I’ve had children at home for the past 24 years, so not having ‘on hand’ mummy duties and living alone for the first time (ever) will be quite an adjustment. But I know that once the grieving ends I will learn how to grow a new set of wings and step into new rhythms and adventures.
In the meantime I have lots of exciting work ventures to focus on, one being our inaugural Quilting Retreat next month.
In addition to oodles of time to sew, chat and relax, there are also 2 optional workshops to choose from.
Saturday Afternoon: Sashiko Cushion
The Japanese sashiko stitching trend has swept through the quilting world in recent years.
This is my simplified take on what can be beautifully intricate hand stitched Japanese designs, often based on themes of nature and geometric patterns.
At this workshop you will learn how to trace patterns onto traditional indigo backgrounds and how to make the sashiko stitches and designs.
Sunday Morning: Selvedge Projects
Quilters are a frugal lot, and we don’t like throwing away even small pieces of fabric!
So when it comes to selvedges, the edges of fabric that prevent it from fraying, to me they aren’t the pieces you trim off and throw in the bin, but rather the unsung treasures of your yardage!
Selvedges not only display the colourful dye shades used in the print, but also the manufacturer and designer’s names and the name of the pattern.
It can take a while to save up enough selvedges to make something from them, but don’t worry, at this workshop I will have lots of selvedges available.
At the workshop you will learn how to cut and sew selvedges with finished edges and how to stabilise them into a new piece of fabric for project making.
And you can choose to make a small basket, pencil case or project pouch.
So start looking at those selvedges differently and hoard them like precious treasure!
Those are the workshops taking place at our Quilting Retreat in October. It’s going to be one fun and creative weekend!
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!
So from one maker to another, I knew my gift had to be handmade!
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!!
I know Rachel loves colour, so I went with a patchworked back and a bright, funky lining.
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!
How would you fancy another Just Jude Designs tutorial! It’s been a while so I thought it was time to share one of my handy pouch patterns!
If you attend regular sewing classes, a Quilting Guild or charity sewing groups, you will know there’s a lot of stuff to remember to bring with you each time!
So a travel sewing pouch might be just the thing you need to keep your essentials compact and portable.
And there’s a handy little zippered pocket in the back!
So before we get started, here are a few essential points:
Use quarter inch seams throughout
Avoid directional prints for the main/outer fabric (it will be upside down when the flap folds over – ask me how I know!!)
All cutting instructions are shown width x height
Right, let’s go!
For main/outer/flap cut: 1 x (8”/20cm x 17”/43cm)
For front/small pocket cut: 1 x (8”/20cm x 10”/25.5cm)
For lining cut: 1 x (8”/20cm x 17”/43cm)
For medium pocket cut: 1 x (8”/20cm x 13”/33cm)
For large pocket cut: 1 x (8”/20cm x 16”/40.5cm)
For zippered pocket lining cut: 2 x (8”/20cm x 9”/23cm)
From sew-in vilene cut: 1 x (8”/20cm x 17”/43cm)
You will also need:
Elastic hair bobble
Basting Spray (505)
5” plastic zipper
Non-permanent marking pen/tool
1 Spray baste the vilene to the wrong side of the main/outer fabric.
2 Iron all 3 pockets in half widthways, wrong sides together. Top stitch along top/folded edges.
3 Place the small and medium pockets together (aligned at the bottom & side edges). Chalk & sew lines onto the small pocket to create dividers as required. Use a reverse stitch at the top/folded edge. Do not sew a central line through all layers as this will be sewn in the next step.
4 Place the small and medium pockets on top of the large pocket, again aligning bottom and side edges. Mark a line that runs vertically through the middle of the small and medium pockets only. Sew on this line, through all layers, again using a reverse stitch at the top edge.
5 Place the pocket section on top of the lining (right side facing) aligning the bottom and side edges. Machine tack together. Put to one side.
6 Make the back/zippered pocket: Hand or machine stitch the open end of the zipper closed to hold in place.
7 Place one of the zippered pocket linings right sides together with the outer fabric, aligning the bottom and side edges.
Draw a line on the pocket fabric, 2” (5cm) down from the top and 1.5” (4cm) in from each side.
8 Next draw a line ¼” (6mm) above and below the first line. Join up the sides and draw > shapes ¼” (6mm) in from each side.
9 Pin the layers together and sew on the outer lines only through both layers. Do not sew on the centre line.
10 Carefully cut along the centre line and > lines into the corners. You need to cut right into the corners without snipping the stitches. A small pair of embroidery stitches are useful here.
11 Push the pocket fabric through the letterbox opening to the back. Press well so no pocket fabric is seen.
12 Place the zipper into the letterbox opening, so that the ‘teeth’ are showing on the right side. Pin and carefully sew around the opening using 1/8” (3mm) seam allowance.
13 Pin the remaining pocket lining piece right sides together with the first pocket lining piece. Do not pin through to the main/outer fabric.
14 Clip or pin the outer fabric back out of the way before sewing around all sides of the pocket linings.
15 Complete the pouch: Machine or hand tack an elastic hair bobble to the top edge of the outer fabric, centred and with the main loop pointing down.
16 Place the outer piece right sides together with the lining/pockets. Pin and sew around all edges, leaving a 3” (8cm) gap in the top of one of the sides. Carefully snip the corners at an angle to remove the bulk.
17 Turn the pouch right sides out, push the corners well out and press well.
18 Hand stitch the gap closed and sew on a button 2” (5cm) up from the bottom edge and centred.
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!
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).
This time, I needed a small zippy pouch to ‘carry’ some little gifts, and I immediately thought of the small Lola pouch.
Because of Svetlana’s brilliantly written pattern, I had these two run up in no time at all (it took longer choosing fabrics!).
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!).
I can think of a million uses for these cute little pouches! And so quick and easy to make too!
If you fancy having a go yourself, you can get both sizes in the one pattern here.
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!
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.
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.
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!
I love the finish of Aurifil 12wt wool thread on denim.
And some tabs saved from a beloved denim shirt add the perfect finishing touches.
And remember, never throw away those broken or unwanted pendants or charms! You never know when they’ll come in handy!
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.
The construction method is the same for both sizes.
So let’s get started.
You will need:
First of all, you will need to download the applique glasses template here.
3.5″ or 5″ Flex Frame
Narrow case: 2 x (4″ x 9″) each from outer fabric, lining fabric & sew-in vilene (heavy weight)
Wider case: 2 x (5.5″ x 9″) each from outer fabric, lining fabric & sew-in vilene (heavy weight)
Fabric for applique sunglasses (2.5″ x 5″)
Bondaweb (2.5″ x 5″)
Jewellery pliers or similar
Adjustable zipper foot (this makes sewing in the flex frame easier)
505 Basting spray (optional)
Assume 1/4″ seam allowances
1. Spray baste the vilene to the wrong sides of the outer fabric pieces. Using the template provided, trace onto the papery side of the bondaweb.
2. Iron the bondaweb to the wrong side of the applique glasses fabric. When cooled, cut out on the line.
3. Remove the paper backing and carefully iron the glasses to the right side of the outer fabric, centred and approx. 2.5cm (1”) up from the bottom edge.
4. Applique the glasses according to your preferred method. I used raw edge ‘sketch’ applique – for this you need to drop the feed dogs and attach a free motion/darning foot to your machine (you can get more information on how to do this & other machine applique techniques here.)
5. Put the 2 outer pieces right sides together and mark 6.75cm (2 5/8″) down from both top corners. Sew down both sides and the bottom edge from marker to marker, leaving the top open (this is the flex frame section).
6. Repeat step 5 for both lining pieces, leaving a 5cm (2”) gap in the middle of the bottom edge (for turning).
7. With right sides together, match the outer flaps to the lining flaps.
8. Carefully pin these sections as shown below, making sure to match the side seams.
9. Sew around the top unsewn section from pin to pin. Use a reverse stitch to start and finish and take care not to sew into the existing seams. Repeat for the other flap.
10. Carefully snip the corners at an angle to lessen the bulk.
11. Turn the pouch right side out through the gap in the lining. Push the corners well out and press flat. Hand or machine stitch the gap closed.
12. Push the lining down into the case. Fold back one of the ‘flaps’, pin and sew close to the outer edge to create a channel (an adjustable zipper foot is useful here). Start and finish with a reverse stitch. Repeat for the other ‘flap’.
13. Insert the flex frame into the channels.
14. Push back the fabric to expose the open ends of the flex frame. Slot the hinge together, insert the bar fully into the hinge, and then close the ends of the hinge using jewellery pliers. Resettle the fabric along the flex frame.
I’m always a little reluctant to jump on band wagons! Preferring to watch from the sidelines for a bit!
When the ‘Sew Together Bag’ band wagon rolled into blog-town I admired the many versions of the pouch that were being created! I got to see some in real life too, and was surprised by how big and roomy they were.
So the pattern went on the very long ‘bucket list’, that ‘one day I’ll get around to it’ invisible list!
That ‘one day’ was last weekend at Brit Bee Retreat. I had already prepped various sections of the bag, using some favourite Liberty scraps and Essex Yarn Dyed Linen.
Despite the odd head scratching moment, and a puzzled brow or two with the pattern, I finally got it finished. (I only broke one needle, not bad eh?)
I decided not to make the pin cushion and needle holder. This bag is so roomy, and is now filled with almost the entire contents of my sewing box. Much easier to transport to sewing ‘together’ venues!
You can get the pattern here if you fancy having a go. However I would not grade this as beginner friendly (some experience of sewing zippered pouches (and a healthy dose of patience!) is recommended).
After a wee break in December, we were back making bee blocks in January for Siblings Together (Bee 2).
Sue was queen bee for January, and set this Tic Tac Toe block, with black on white backgrounds and colourful prints for the rest. (here is the tutorial if you fancy having a go at this easy block)
I was queen bee in September, and set the Canvas block. Last week I managed to get them all sewn together into a sizeable flimsy!
I’m taking a 2nd stint as Queen bee, so its my turn again in February! Watch this space!
In September 2015, Brit Bee started our 4th round. If you’ve been keeping up with us, you will know we never stick to the annual schedule! But we are a forgiving and patient lot, forged by longevity and great friendships!
By some miracle I have managed to keep up with the schedule (ish!) and earlier this month I made the last block! Woohoo!
This one is for Katy, in her chosen solids, and the block was designed by Hadley.
As the first one finished, I’ll try hard not to capitalise on bragging rights at our Brit Bee retreat next month!
One of our traditions in Brit Bee is to exchange Secret Santa gifts at Christmas. In previous years we’ve done things like, cushions, decorations, pin-cushions.
This year we went for zippy pouches – you can see what I made for Katy here.
And what did I get?
Only this gorgeous package of cuteness from Ange!
Isn’t it adorable! And I have a feeling it will come in handy for travelling to our retreat!
I hope you aren’t tired of seeing my denim pouches!
I was woefully late getting a birthday present to my friend, but now that she has it I can show it to you!
This one is a little different from my other denim pouches. I thought I would keep hexies as the dominant theme this time.
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)!
Sometimes denim can feel a little masculine, so I made sure to add some feminine touches with the floral lining and pink zip!
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!
Hi everyone, I hope your week is going well. Can you believe it’s December tomorrow?!
And you know what that means!!
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?
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!
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.
The rest of the pattern is then made up of the following headings:
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.
Here in N.Ireland we have really loooooooong school summer holidays. They start off slowly at the end of June, but seem to really speed up in August as we hurtle towards September!
We are already in the throws of school uniform buying in the Hollies’ household!
So my ‘Back to School’ Pencil case in this month’s issue of Quilt Now is quite timely!
I love these colours on the Essex Yarn Dyed Linen (denim).
And on the other side ……
If you want to banish your fear of zippers, this is a lovely project to get in some practise. The pattern will talk you through how to insert the zipper, and how to make covered zip ends to get a lovely finish to your pouch.
This is a really roomy pouch, so no excuses for forgetting school supplies!!
And if you’d like to get some of this quality linen/cotton mix, you can find it here in my shop.
Apologies if you have had trouble downloading the PDF templates. I have amended the ‘sharing’ settings within GoogleDocs so I hope from now on you will find it a little easier. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch otherwise.
One final bit of housekeeping before we move on to another Easter tutorial. I’m always grateful to folks who take the time to leave a comment here on my blog. I will ALWAYS reply to comments, so if you don’t get a response from me, it’s because your email address doesn’t register with your comment. In blogging terms you are known as a ‘no reply comment’ blogger. If this is you, I would love to be able to connect and chat with you more, so here and here are some tips you can try to fix your settings. Alternatively, just leave me your email address with your comment (especially important when entering giveaways!).
On to our next Easter Tutorial!
Easter Egg Zippy Pouches!
This one is for older (or grown up) kids! As you can see, this is a fun way to gift money or vouchers!
And here’s how to make them:
What you need:
Front: From outer and lining fabrics & sew-in vilene (med/heavy) cut 2 x (5″ wide by 3.5″ tall) Back: From outer and lining fabrics & sew-in vilene (med/heavy) cut 2 x (5″ wide by 6″ tall) 5″ plastic zipper (or longer) 1.25″ wide key fob Basting spray 505 Zipper foot
1. Spray baste the vilene to the wrong sides of the corresponding outer pieces.
2. Place the zipper right sides together along the top edge of a 5″ x 3.5″ outer/front piece.
3. Pin a corresponding lining piece on top, right sides together with the outer fabric.
4. Using the zipper foot, sew through all layers.
5. Flip the lining over to the back and press away from the zipper. From the front side, sew 1/8″ finishing seam beside the zipper.
6. Now lay the other outer (front) piece on the table, right side facing. Place the zippered piece right sides together with the zipper aligned at the top edge.
7. Pin the remaining corresponding lining piece on top, right sides together with the attached lining piece. Sew through all layers as before.
8. Again flip the lining to the back side, press and sew a finishing seam 1/8″ away from the zipper. Your pouch front should look something like this.
9. Place the template onto the lining side and draw around with a pencil. Before cutting out on the line, bring the zipper pull inside the pouch and sew a few stitches across the zipper (just inside the line) to secure.
10. Place the outer/vilene back piece WRONG sides together with the corresponding lining piece.
11. Place right sides together with the egg front. Pin and sew 1/4″ inside the edge.
12. Trim away the excess and zigzag the raw edges.
13. Turn the pouch right side out through the zipper and press well.
14. Attach the keyfob & ring to the top of the ‘egg’.
Stuff with money, goodies (or diamonds!) and gift to your favourite big person!!