Scrappy Rail Fence Block Tutorial


By Judith on July 5, 2018
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Summer Rail Fence Quilt (Pretty Patches Aug16)

 

This is my Autumn Rail Fence Quilt (as featured in August ’17 issue of Pretty Patches magazine).

 

If, like me, you have a healthy supply of scraps, then this is a great scrap buster project for you!

 

 

In August I am hosting a Scrap Buster Saturday, and this is one of the many quick and easy ideas folks can use to dig in to those overflowing scrap boxes!

 

 

Here’s how to make the Scrappy Rail Fence Block (12.5″ unfinished):

 

1 You will need a variety of scrappy strips, at least 13″ long and of varying widths (don’t go wider than 3″). Press them and make sure they have straight parallel sides.  Don’t worry about trimming the lengths, you get a more accurate block if you leave the trimming to the end.

 

  • Summer Rail Fence Quilt (Pretty Patches Aug16)

 

2 I went for a ‘late summer’ colour theme of teals, oranges, pinks and golds. But you could easily use whatever colours you have for a more ‘random’ rail fence.

Summer Rail Fence Quilt (Pretty Patches Aug16)

 

3 You will notice I have included a brown striped fabric at the edge of each block.  These strips are cut 2″ wide and give a little uniformity to the scrappiness of the blocks.  If you are going for random and bright colours, try a narrow black and white stripe here.

 

 

4 If you are working to a colour theme, try to get an even number of colours per block. The order doesn’t matter, just sew enough together using a 1/4″ seam, not forgetting the stripey fabric on the end, until you can get at least 12.5″ wide.  Set the seams (pressing the seam as you have sewn it) before pressing the seams to the darkest fabric.

 

 

5 Trim the block to 12.5″ square.  If there is excess on the width make sure you don’t take any off the stripey/end fabric.  You want these end strips to be of uniform width.  I used my 12.5″ square ruler for easy trimming, but you can trim these blocks to any size, just make sure they are square!

 

 

6 Make lots more blocks until you have enough for your quilt (or until you have used up all your scraps!).

 

Summer Rail Fence Quilt (Pretty Patches Aug16)

 

Happy scrapping!

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Scrap Busting Saturday Workshop!


By Judith on May 29, 2018
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Hello there!

 

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

 

Sunset (Seapark) May18
Sunset (Seapark) May18

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Organising Scraps (Workshop)

 

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

 

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

 

Stacked Coins Cushion: (pattern available here)

 

Scrappy Stacked Coins Cushion

 

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

 

Scrappy Stacked Coins Cushion

 

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

 

Scrappy Stacked Coins Cushion

 

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

 

Scrappy Stacked Coins cushion

 

French Braid Handbag: (pattern available here)

 

Scrappy French Braid Bag (workshop)

 

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

 

Scrappy French Braid Bag (workshop)

 

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

 

(Hinged Faux Leather Handles available at the workshop)

 

Strip Pieced Quilt: (free block tutorial here)

 

Scrappy Strips Quilt (British P&Q Sept16)

 

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

 

Scrappy Strips Quilt (British Patchwork & Quilting Sept16)

 

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

 

Autumn Rail Fence Quilt (block tutorial available here)

 

Summer Rail Fence Quilt (Pretty Patches Aug16)

 

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

 

Summer Rail Fence Quilt (Pretty Patches Aug16)

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

QAYG Shopping Bag class sample

 

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

 

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

 

The pattern also includes this secure recessed zipper closure.

 

QAYG Handbag class sample 056

 

‘Birch’ Quilt (in progress):

 

Birch Quilt in progress

 

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

 

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

 

Birch Quilt in progress

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Happy scrapping!

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Denim Applique Sailboat Cushion Workshop


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

 

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

 

Denim Sailboat Cushion (Pretty Patches July16)

 

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

 

Denim Sailboat Cushion (Pretty Patches July16)

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

How cool is that!

 

 

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

 

More ‘Spring into Summer’ posts coming soon!

 

Happy sewing!

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Take Wing Butterfly Wallhanging


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

 

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

 

Take Wing Butterfly wallhanging
24″ x 15″

 

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

 

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

 

Take Wing Butterfly wallhanging

 

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

 

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

 

Take Wing Butterfly wallhanging

 

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

 

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

 

Take Wing Butterfly wallhanging

 

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

 

Happy sewing!

 

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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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Vintage Improv Quilt


By Judith on November 3, 2017
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Hello my friends!

 

Happy November to you all!  Aren’t the weeks just flying in!

 

There have been a few exciting developments in the Hollies Household, which I will be able to tell you all about in 2 weeks time (can’t wait!!).

 

In the meantime, I can tell you about a quilt I made earlier in the year, which was featured in the September issue of Quilt Now (apologies for the late posting).

 

Vintage Improv Quilt (Quilt Now September17)

 

This is another scrap-busting project, using medium to low volume prints which have a ‘vintagey’ vibe (‘volume’ refers to the ‘loudness’ or brightness of the fabric).

 

I had a ball dipping in and out of my scraps drawers, using wee pieces, leftover jelly roll strips and scraps of vintage sheets.

 

Improv Vintage Quilt (Quilt Now Sept17)

 

And if you look closely, you’ll discover little snippets of vintage embroidery, lace and trim!

 

Improv Vintage Quilt (Quilt Now Sept17)

Improv Vintage Quilt (Quilt Now Sept17)

 

This improvisational style of piecing is quite addictive!  You just start with a few small pieces, keep adding and trimming as you go, and before you know it, your scraps have grown into a sizeable panel.

 

 

I got so carried away that I made too many sections!  Not wanting to waste them, I sewed them altogether and used them as a central panel in the back, pieced between 2 vintage sheets!

 

Improv Vintage Quilt (Quilt Now Sept17)

Improv Vintage Quilt (Quilt Now Sept17)

 

Even the binding is another vintage sheet!

 

Improv Vintage Quilt (Quilt Now Sept17)

 

I appreciate that maintaining a healthy ‘scrap stash’ takes organisation and space, but here are a few advantages you get from it:

  • You can make an entire quilt using just scraps!
  • Make your scraps go further using yardage for the background.
  • Enjoy the satisfaction & frugality of turning leftovers into many wonderful and new projects.
  • Put them to good use in charity bee blocks, like Bee Blessed.
  • Use scraps to ‘test’ blocks or measurements when resizing a block

I’m sure you can think of lots more advantages to keeping your fabric leftovers. And you can be even more creative thinking up genius ways to store them!

 

Improv Vintage Quilt (Quilt Now Sept17)

 

Despite this being a sizeable quilt (72″ x 82.5″) I wish I could tell you I made a significant dent in my scraps stash making it!!

 

But that just means I have lots of lovely gems waiting for another chance to be transformed!

 

I wonder what my next scrappy project will be?

 

Happy scrapping!

 

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Mats!


By Judith on October 16, 2017
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Hello everyone!

 

I hope you are all safe after storm Ophelia made her presence known here today!  Perhaps you got to stay inside and sew!

 

Yesterday I had a little free time and got to play with some scraps.

 

Scrappy Tilda Mat

 

I define scraps as leftovers from another project.  These Tilda strips were the leftover cuts from a quilt I made recently.  Waaaaay to pretty to chuck!

 

I had no real plan, other than my need for a couple of mats for my new kitchen.

 

Scrappy Tilda Mat

 

There’s something so satisfying about sewing strips together and just seeing where they take you.

 

Scrappy Tilda Mat

 

A little addition of Essex Yarn Dyed Linen (Flax) and ‘Oven Glove’ wadding turned this mat into a trivet style hot pad.  I love the texture the extra thick wadding gives when quilted!

 

Scrappy Tilda Mat

 

With the leftover strips I had pieced, I just quilted them in the same way with standard wadding and voila!  I now have a handy mat for my Tea, Coffee and Sugar canisters to sit on.

 

Scrappy Tilda Mat

Scrappy Tilda Mat

 

Oh and there’s one more to show you!

 

EPP Mat

 

I turned a little EPP (English Paper Piecing) class sample into another hot mat (there’s oven glove wadding inside this one too!).

 

EPP Mat

 

A mixture of Tilda and non-Tilda scraps in this one, on a background of more Essex Yarn Dyed Linen (Flax).

 

So now I have a choice of pretty mats to choose from!

 

No better way to spend a relaxing few hours!

 

Happy quilting!

 

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