Christmas Baubles Roundup


By Judith on November 20, 2018
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Last week in classes I gave a little run down on all the Christmas ornaments hanging on my decorative tree!

 

Christmas Baubles

 

Most of them are free tutorials I’ve either found on Pinterest or written myself.

 

I thought you might like to take part in our little Christmas Baubles club too!  So here are all the links!

 

Zippy Baubles Pouches

(great for gifting money or vouchers)

Free tutorial available here – simply adapt the ‘egg’ shape into a circle

 

Bauble Zippy pouches

 

Stitchy Trees

Free tutorial available here

 

Stitchy Christmas Trees

 

Christmas Cornets

Free tutorial here – switch the Easter fabrics for Christmas fabrics & add a bell!

 

Christmas Baubles

 

Mini Hoops

No tutorial but lots of free inspiration and ideas on Pinterest (search for Christmas mini hoops)

 

Christmas Baubles

 

‘Oh My Eye’ Birds

(2 sizes)

Pattern available here

 

Christmas Baubles

Christmas Baubles

 

Star Pentagon Decoration

Free pattern available here

 

Christmas Baubles

 

Faux Cathedral Windows Decoration

Free pattern available here

 

Christmas Baubles

 

 

So that’s my Christmas baubles roundup (my  little tree is completely full!).

I hope you enjoy making sweet gifts and decorations this year!

 

Happy sewing!

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Scandi Christmas Stocking Workshop


By Judith on November 17, 2018
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Today we had the most festive fun making Scandi Christmas Stockings.

 

Scandi Stocking Workshop Nov18

 

At one stage the classroom looked like a massacre in a fabric factory, but boy what results!

 

Scandi Stocking Workshop Nov18

(Apologies to one of my ladies whose stocking I forgot to photograph!)

 

Aren’t they fabulous!

And everyone went home with a completely finished stocking! Win, win!

 

Well done everyone!

 

If you fancy making your own Scandi Stocking, you can find the pattern here.  (A dyslexic friendly version of the pattern is available here.)

 

 

I also have a few kits left from today, listed here. Each kit includes everything you need to make the stocking (pattern incl).

 

Happy sewing!

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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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Class Project: Christmas Tree Skirt


By Judith on October 23, 2018
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Next week starts a new block of classes, the last block of 2018!!

In this final term, our attention will turn towards preparations for Christmas!

 

xmas tree skirts (class project)

 

Following several requests for a Christmas Tree Skirt, I’ve curated a selection of patterns which my ladies can choose from.

 

I don’t have time to make all of these wonderful examples, but I did make this one!

 

Christmas Cracker Tree Skirt (class project)

 

This cracker themed tree skirt was originally designed by my lovely quilty friend Reene of Nellies Niceties.

 

I have never used a tree skirt around my Christmas tree before, but as soon as Reene released her free pattern, I pinned it and knew one day I would make it!

 

Christmas Cracker Tree Skirt (class project)

 

While Reene’s instructions are on how to make the top only, they are really clear and the easy piecing means it works up really quickly!

 

This tree skirt is a good size, but if you needed a smaller one, simply omit one or two crackers until you have your desired size.

 

Christmas Cracker Tree Skirt (class project)

 

I had fun quilting this ‘skirt’ using my quilting bar, and decided to finish the opening with buttons and hair bobbles!

 

This was a fun venture into my first Christmas Tree Skirt! And I’m looking forward to seeing many more tree skirts over the next few weeks!

 

And we’ll also have lots more tutorials and inspiration for your Christmas gift and decorating ideas!

 

So if you would like to join in the Christmas fun, spaces are still available across all 6 classes.  Give me a shout if you would like to book a spot!

 

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Patchwork in the Peaks 14: Part 2


By Judith on September 26, 2018
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I promised to check in again and tell you about my makes at Patchwork in the Peaks (though they pale into insignificance compared to the fabulous makes of my fellow sewers).

 

Not fully understanding the brief of the weekend, I arrived with no personal projects to work on! Doh!

 

However, Elita has a very healthy ‘scraps stack’ which she generously makes available to all at Peaks.

 

So with that in mind, I rustled up a sizeable ‘Quilt As You Go’ pouch.

 

QAYG Pouch (Peaks14)

 

I always find that other people’s scraps are much more interesting than my own, so it was fun rustling through the scrap boxes for this project.

 

QAYG Pouch (Peaks14)
Thank you to Margie for donating the yellow tassel!

 

One of the ‘games’ we played at the weekend was a ‘Roll the Dice Fat Quarter swap’.

 

It’s much too long winded for me to try and explain how it works, but the essence of the game is that you bring 3 fat quarters to the table and after much hilarity, competitive threats (of the lighthearted kind of course!!) and fast hand action, you end up with 3 different fat quarters!

 

QAYG Pouch (Peaks14)

 

One such fat quarter is the glorious yellow that I used for the lining of my pouch!

 

Aaaahhhhh! Sunshine in a pouch!

 

Following my Denim Applique Bag workshop, there was a nice little pile of offcuts and discarded denim bits.

 

Denim Pouch (Peaks14)

 

So in keeping with the denim/upcycling theme, I made another zippy pouch (a girl can never have too many pouches, right?!).

 

Denim Pouch (Peaks14)

 

A little ‘Aurifil’ decorative stitching and feature tabs, loops and labels add the perfect finishing touches.

 

Denim Pouch (Peaks14)

 

Another of my ‘fat quarter swaps’ made it as the perfect pouch lining!

 

Denim Pouch (Peaks14)

 

On Saturday evening we shared our ‘Secret Sister’ gifts (surprise, anonymous gifts left for each person throughout the weekend) and then Gina presented the ‘Mystery Make’.

 

This is a fun, quick make in keeping with the theme of the weekend. Several little jeans legs were made available with a finished sample of the cutest wee fabric bucket!  So we set to it and in no time at all, a family of re-purposed fabric buckets appeared! (see pics in previous post)

 

Repurposed Denim thread catcher (Peaks 14)

 

Despite the flowers being upside down (!!) I’m going to use mine as a purposeful little thread catcher.

 

And last but not least, another rummage in the scraps box and my heart started to flutter as I discovered some adorable vintage vibe browns!

 

Vintage Brown Log Cabins (Peaks 14)

 

Now I appreciate brown is not a universally loved fabric colour, and there are some browns I just can’t do.

 

But on my bucket list of makes is a vintage brown quilt (I have a secret hoard of brown vintage fabrics in my loft!). So I grasped the nettle and started making log cabin blocks, with no other plan in mind than to enjoy the browns and worry about a design much later!

 

Vintage Brown Log Cabins (Peaks 14)

 

So considering I arrived at Peaks with no fabric or sewing equipment, I did pretty well don’t you think?

 

Thanks for tuning in!

 

Happy sewing!

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Tweed Applique Bag


By Judith on September 19, 2018
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Well ‘Storm Ali’ has made herself known here today!

 

Lots of trees down and debris scattered everywhere.

 

Thankfully no loss of power where I live, and I’m also thankful I’m flying to Patchwork in the Peaks (Morzine, France) tomorrow and not today!

 

Denim applique bag

 

As you know I’ll be teaching my Denim Applique bag pattern at the retreat (pattern available here), and in keeping with the ‘repurposing textiles’ theme, I’ve made a tweed version to take with me.

 

Tweed Applique Bag

 

I veered off the pattern slightly, frugally using the size of tweed pieces that I had, rather than chopping them up to the sizes of the denim pattern pieces.

 

Tweed Applique Bag

 

I love the Autumnal feel to this bag, so tactile with all those textures from the tweeds, applique and twin needling!

 

Tweed Applique Bag

 

I went for a Tilda lining  to connect the soft green tones in the tweed leaves and panels.

 

Tweed Applique Bag

 

So as Autumn well and truly blows in here, I have the perfect bag for the season!

 

Tweed Applique Bag

 

And I’ll tell you all about Patchwork in the Peaks when I get back!

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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Autumn Table Projects Part 1


By Judith on September 6, 2018
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Hello there!

And hello September!

 

September sees the start of my Autumn term of classes, and an introduction to twin needling with fusible bias tape.

 

And in celebration of the start of meteorological Autumn, let me show you my new table display, full of ideas, patterns and tutorials to inspire you to get creative this season!

 

Autumn18 Table Display

 

1: French Braid Handbag

(Pattern available here)

 

Scrappy French Braid Bag (workshop)

 

I designed this bag for my Scrap Buster Saturday, back in early August.

I organised my scraps into 3 colourways – lots of strips of varying widths, and at least 7″ long.

The French Braid technique is so easy and in no time at all you have the panels made.  Quilting them onto Bosal Flex Foam gives the bag lovely structure.

2: Denim Messenger Bag

(pattern coming soon)

Messenger bags are great for all ages!  Kids at school, professionals needing a laptop bag, or how about a ‘man bag’.

 

Messenger Bag (Pretty Patches June16)

 

The pattern for this bag was originally published in Pretty Patches magazine a few years ago.  I’m hoping to get the pattern reformatted for general sale soon.

 

You can see I’ve had a little fun with the flap section of the bag in other versions of this pattern!

 

Bethany's Messenger Bag 009

messenger bag 007

Messenger bag commission

 

3: ‘Quilt As You Go’ Shopping Bag

(Pattern available here)

 

 

This is a roomy bag which will put a dent in some of your scraps!

 

The ‘quilt as you go’ technique is great fun, and the condense quilting adds strength and structure too.

 

4: Rope Bowls

Rope Bowls Workshop

I’m teaching how to make these stylish and versatile bowls at my Saturday workshops.

 

The first workshop was a hit, and a very productive day!

 

Rope Bowls Workshop Aug18

 

The next Rope Bowls workshop is this Saturday.  Again it is fully booked, but I will be running this one again in the new year (keep your eyes and ears open!).

 

5: Chenille (Cushion or Bath mat)

(Cushion pattern available here)

 

Chenille

 

On the table you can see a Chenille mat, and the Chenille Heart Cushion in the background.

 

Chenilling is such a fun quilting technique, and totally beginner friendly.

 

Chenille class sample

 

I’m hosting a Chenille workshop on Saturday 13th October, where you can make either a bath mat or my heart cushion (places still available at time of writing).

Chenille quilted bath mat

 

So that’s part 1 of my Autumn Table roundup.

 

Tune in later this week for more project inspiration!

 

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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A 60’s Revival Tunic!


By Judith on August 5, 2018
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Hi there!

 

Yesterday we had a fun Scrap Busting Saturday up at the Mill.

 

Scrap busting Saturday Aug18

 

The classroom was alive with scraps getting turned into beautiful bags, cushions and quilts! (You can read more about the projects being made here.)

 

Oh how satisfying it is to breath new life into unwanted or left-over fabrics!

 

And speaking of fabric rejuvenating!

 

No 2 The ’60’s Revival’ Tunic!

 

60's Revival Tunic Aug18

 

This is my hippy tunic (made using New Look pattern 6068), not hippy perhaps in style, but hippy because it is made from 100% unadulterated C.R.I.M.P.L.E.N.E!

Yes you heard right!

I LOVE CRIMPLENE!

 

60's Revival Tunic Aug18

 

I don’t even know where a love for this nasty nylon came from! I love it so much I’m thinking of starting a ‘bring back the housecoat’ revolution!

 

60's Revival Tunic Aug18

 

And I feel it’s only right that I tell you now, I HAVE MORE CRIMPLENE! What joy!

That’ll be a few more hippy tunics to add to collection then!

 

60's Revival Tunic Aug18

 

And see that mug there?  That’s my new folksy mug! Isn’t it fab!

 

Hippy mug

 

Happy sewing!

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My ‘Hippy Granny’ Tunic!


By Judith on July 31, 2018
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Hi there!

How is your summer going?

 

We’ve had wonderful weather this summer, so I shouldn’t be sad to see the rain!  After all, the gardens are crying out for it!

 

As well as working on some non-work related sewing commitments, I’ve been beavering away on some new patterns for upcoming classes and workshops (more on this very soon!).

 

But I’ve also managed to snatch a few ‘dressmaking’ moments here and there!

 

I once remember my dearly passed friend, Heather, telling me about when she used to make her own trousers.  After her first successful pair, she made lots more from the same pattern, but just in different colours!

 

So as a novice dressmaker, I am unashamedly going to follow my friend’s canny philosophy!

 

Liberty Summer Tunic

 

Last summer I made this tunic from a charity shop find of Liberty cotton. The pattern is beginner friendly (New Look pattern 6068) and I love the shape and fit of it.

 

So I cut out 2 more, in vintage fabrics that I’ve collected over the years!

 

No. 1   The ‘A Little Touch of Granny’ Tunic:

 

Hippy Granny Tunic

 

I can’t remember who or where this exotic themed fabric came from, but I didn’t have enough width in the main fabric for a complete front. So I improvised and added in a coordinating navy panel.

 

Hippy Granny Tunic

 

Also I wanted a slightly longer length than the original pattern, so I added a mock under-skirt in a contrasting fabric (I call this my granny fabric!).

 

Hippy Granny Tunic

 

I’m sure you will think I’m bonkers (!!) but I love my cobbled together tunic!

I have long been trying to set my inner granny/hippy free, and I think I’ve taken another step closer to embracing a very individual and creative style!

 

Hippy Granny Tunic

 

And for tunic no.2?

 

Tune in next time for another ‘eyebrow raising’ post!

 

Happy sewing!

 

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Patchwork In The Peaks 2018


By Judith on July 22, 2018
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Hello everyone!  How are you?

 

I’m back from a little holiday over on English soil, enjoying the amazing Cumbrian countryside with my #sewingbesties …..

 

Holiday July18
L-R: Di, me, Sarah, Trudi

Holiday July18

 

….. and visiting family and friends in my old Dorset stomping ground.

 

Holiday July18
Bournemouth Beach
Holiday July18
My brother’s back garden grape vine!

 

The weather was hot, hot, hot! What a cracking summer break.

 

And I’ll be jet-setting off again in September, as the guest tutor of Patchwork in the Peaks in Morzine, France.

 

 

Patchwork in the Peaks is an Alpine Quilt Retreat, hosted twice a year by Busy Needle Quilting.

 

The retreat is held over 4 days, in a 4 storey chalet with the most spectacular views!

 

You get to take part in workshops, tutorials and have some free time to relax, explore Morzine, or fit in more sewing! There’s even an ‘in chalet’ quilting shop and you can avail of the Juki long arm quilting machine (tuition provided).

 

Doesn’t that sound wonderful!  You can read lots more about this quilters heaven here and here.

 

Denim applique bag

 

I’ll be teaching my Applique Denim Bag, showcasing techniques such as twin needling fusible bias, satin stitch applique, re-purposing textiles and a zippered pocket (to name a few).

 

So if you fancy a creative and relaxing retreat surrounded by inspiring scenery, why not come to Patchwork in the Peaks (only a few places remaining)!

Happy sewing!

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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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Real Women Have Curves Part 2


By Judith on June 30, 2018
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It’s the end of June and classes are now finished for the summer recess.  What a wonderful first 6 months in my new classroom!

 

Our ongoing heatwave here meant the classroom was quite warm on occasion, but the ladies were smokin’ their creativity even more so!

 

You may remember Part 1 of our ‘Real Women Have Curves’ roundup, where I showed you the fabulous drunkard’s path cushions my ladies had made.

 

Well just take a look at these!

 

Butterfly Garden Class June18
Butterfly Garden Class June18

 

These beautiful ‘Butterfly Garden’ quilts are stunning on every level (my poor photos not doing them justice at all!).

 

I love how different fabrics or placement of colour value can completely change the look of the same quilt.  In this pattern, drunkard’s path units are combined with squares to make up these curvy blocks.

 

Aren’t they wonderful!  A huge well done to my ladies for ‘going large’ with their curvy project (especially as temperatures soared inside and out!).

 

If you like what you see here and want to have a go at your own ‘layer cake friendly’ Butterfly Garden quilt, you can get the pattern here.

 

Butterfly Garden DP Quilt (class project)

 

I won’t have any classes in July, but you can find out all about my summer programme of classes and workshops here.

 

Happy quilting!

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Shared Threads – Drawstring Bag Tutorial


By Judith on June 22, 2018
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As promised, here is the tutorial for the Shared Threads Drawstring Bags Tutorial.

 

Shared Threads Drawstring Bags

 

You Will Need:

1 x (11.5″ wide x 29″ tall) non-directional cotton fabric OR

2 x (11.5″ x 15″) directional cotton fabric

2 x 25″ lengths of ribbon or cord (or shoe laces)

safety pin

 

Method:

 

If using directional fabric, first join the pieces right sides together along the bottom edges using 1/4″ seam allowance.

 

1 Press under both short ends by 1/4″.

 

 

2 Press under both long sides by 1/4″ and then again by another 1/4″.

 

 

3 Sew around all 4 edges using 1/4″ seam allowance.

 

 

4 Bring both short ends wrong sides together. Measure and mark 2.5″ down from each top corner.

 

 

5 Sew from each marker down the sides to the bottom corners using 1/4″ seam allowance. Start and finish with a reverse stitch.

 

 

6 Turn the bag right sides out and press well.

 

7 Press the sides of the top flaps so they fold in.

 

 

8 Fold the top edge of the flap down until it meets the start of the side seams. Pin and sew along the hemmed edge of the flap. Repeat for the other side.

 

 

 

9 Attach the safety pin to one end of the ribbon/cord. Thread it into the top channel, all the way around until it comes out the same side.

 

 

10 Remove the pin and knot the ends of the ribbon. Cut the ends of the ribbon at an angle to reduce fray.

 

 

11 Repeat for the other length of ribbon, this time from the opposite side of the bag.

 

 

And you’re finished!

 

Shared Threads Drawstring Bags

 

 

Thank you for supporting Shared Threads.

 

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Machine Sewing for Beginners


By Judith on June 18, 2018
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During the 5 Wednesday evenings in August I will be running my ‘Machine Sewing for Beginners’ Course.

 

Machine Sewing for Beginners Class May13

 

I have run this course many times in the past, and it has always proven popular. The course is designed for folks who want to learn how to use a sewing machine, or refresh their machine sewing skills from long ago!

 

Here’s a run down of the topics we cover:

 

Week 1:

  • threading the machine
  • filling a bobbin
  • understanding the various buttons, dials & stitches
  • practising the different stitches

 

 

 

Week 2:

  • understanding tension & troubleshooting
  • how to change needles and feet
  • understanding uses of different feet
  • sewing control skills

 

 

Week 3:

  • understanding fabric (warp, weft, bias)
  • measuring & cutting fabric
  • seams (1/4”; 3/8”; 5/8”, overlocking; french)

 

 

 

Weeks 4-5:

  • Project: Single skein cushion cover with a zippered back

 

Single Skein Zippered Cushion Cover

 

Extra Info:

  • Cost: £45 (includes a non-refundable deposit of £20)
  • Course in Conway Mill (2nd Floor), Conway Street, Belfast, 6.30pm-8.30pm
  • Disabled Parking and Access available
  • Places are limited so book early
  • Limited number of machines available to hire (pre-booking required)
  • Full list of materials/requirements emailed in July

 

So if you fancy learning a new skill, or brushing up on an old one, just drop me an email to justjudedesigns@hotmail.co.uk.  Classes are fun and relaxed!

 

Happy sewing!

 

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Rope Bowls Workshop


By Judith on May 31, 2018
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For the third installment in my series of summer workshops, we will be looking at what we can do with cotton clothesline rope and a zig-zag stitch!

 

Rope Bowls Workshop

 

The rope bowl making phenomenon hit the online quilting community about 2 years ago, and is still going strong!

 

Rope Bowls Workshop

 

When I started making these, I couldn’t believe how easy  it was to achieve the variety of 3d shapes.  The fiddliest part is getting the rope wound tightly enough at the start, but after that, it’s a doddle!

 

Rope Bowls Workshop

 

I experimented with a couple of different ropes, one softer and one coarser. While my machine still coped ok with the coarser rope, it had to work a little harder, and cheaper threads broke more often.  However, the softer rope was much more maliable and took both the Aurifil and cheaper threads with ease.  I will be supplying the softer rope to the workshops.

 

Rope Bowls Workshop

 

There are many different ways to add colour to your baskets – dip-dyeing, painting, coloured thread or adding scraps.  Check out my Kitchen Pinterest Board for many more examples of this versatile craft.

 

Rope Bowls Workshop

 

Due to the popularity of this project, I am running 2 workshop dates, 18th August and 8th September.  All workshops are £30 (includes a non-refundable £15 deposit).  Just drop me an email to justjudedesigns@hotmail.co.uk for more information or to register.

 

Happy sewing!

 

 

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Easy Peasy Pouches Workshop


By Judith on May 30, 2018
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Next up on my series of Summer Workshop posts are my Easy Peasy Pouches!

 

Zippy Pouches Workshop11th August, 10am-4pm2nd Flr, Conway Mill, Belfast

 

It’s funny how often I come across folks with an inherent fear of zippers!

 

I remember my own fear of them once upon a time. But oh, the wonderful freedom I experienced once I faced my fear, able to make and enjoy many zippered projects and gifts.

 

I want to enable others to experience this freedom and fun, and to embrace their zipper foot once and for all!

 

Easy Peasy Zippered Pouch Workshop

 

For the complete ‘Zipper Novice’ I have designed the Easy Peasy Pouch, simple construction without compromising on the little details that matter, like pretty zipper tabs and a boxed corner base.

 

Easy Peasy Zippered Pouch Workshop

 

And for those feeling a little more adventurous, you could try The Gracie Pouch.

 

The Gracie Pouch Workshop

 

These have the same simple construction as the Easy Peasy Pouch, just with a few added features and a little more quilting.

 

The Gracie Pouch Workshop

 

When I need a handmade gift idea, zippy pouches are my go to project!

 

Bookings for this workshop are now open!  All workshops are £30 (includes a non-refundable £15 deposit). Just drop me an email to justjudedesigns@hotmail.co.uk.

 

Happy sewing!

 

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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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Improv. Curved Placemats Tutorial


By Judith on May 4, 2018
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In keeping with our ‘curves’ theme this term, my monthly ‘5 minute lesson’ in classes this week was all about Improv. (improvisational) curves.

 

As the name suggests ‘improv.’ means you pretty much go with the flow and make up the curves as you go.  No two curves are the same, and there are much fewer rules to abide by than with standard pieced curves. You don’t even have to worry about an even seam allowance (gasp!).

 

You can imagine how well this technique went down with all my rebellious non-conformists (you know who you are!!).

 

There are many examples of improv. curves on Pinterest (see my Curves Pinterest Board here).  And to give an example of these in class, I made some improv. curved placemats, in the lovely coastal Beachcomber fabrics by Makower.

 

Improv Curves Placemat tutorial (2)

 

Here is the tutorial on how to make my Improv. Curved Placemats (makes 4 x 15 1/4″ diameter mats).

 

You will need:

Between Nine and Twelve 10″ squares (I used Beachcomber by Makower)

50cm of Wadding or Insul Bright Heat Resistant Wadding

50cm of calico

1 metre of Heat Resistant Non-Slip Table Protector (at least 35″ wide)

4.5 metres of 3/4″ wide bias binding

Co-ordinating threads

505 Basting Spray

 

Method: Assume 1/4″ seams

1 Place 2 squares of fabric on the cutting mat, right sides facing up, and overlapping.  The wider the overlap, the deeper the curves can be.  I usually overlap by 2-3″ (I am using up a smaller piece of fabric here to overlap the 10″ square).

 

 

2 Using a rotary cutter, cut a curve up through the overlapped section.

 

 

3 Remove the excess pieces (this will be the smaller piece of the right hand fabric and the smaller/underneath piece of the left hand fabric). The remaining pieces should fit neatly together.

 

 

4 Sew the 2 pieces right sides together.  It is easier to do this by straightening the underneath piece with your right hand and lifting up the top piece with your left hand.  Don’t worry if your seam allowance isn’t even the whole way down, just make sure there are no tucks.

 

 

5 Press the seam to the darkest fabric.

 

 

6 Repeat steps 2-5 for a third piece of fabric, over lapping the left hand edge of the first piece.

 

 

7 Spray baste the curved pieces, wadding and calico together (tutorial on spray basting available here).

 

 

8 Quilt the mats, starting centrally and working towards the outer edges.  I quilted in the ditches and then’echo’ quilted the curved seams 1/2″ apart.

 

 

9 Place a round plate or bowl on top and draw around it.  Cut along the line and remove the excess.  Put to one side.

 

 

10 Place the same plate/bowl onto the felted side of the non-slip table protector.  Draw around it and cut out.

 

 

11 Machine tack the table protector to the wrong side of the mat, making sure the felted side is on the inside. Machine tacking means using a large stitch on your machine, and stitching close to the edges.  If you find the rubberised table protector resisting or sticking to your sewing machine, make sure the rubberised side is facing up and engage the dual feed/walking foot on your machine.  If you don’t have these, stick some matt scotch tape to the underside of your presser foot keeping clear of the needle opening.

 

 

12 Open out the bias binding, and leaving a few inches unsewn at the start, attach the binding around the edge of the mat using a scant 1/4″ seam allowance, stopping a few inches short at the end (remember to use a quilting size stitch length here, not a tacking stitch).

 

 

13 Place the end of the bias binding over the start and measure and mark 1/2″ overlap.  Trim off the excess.

 

 

14 Open out the binding and sew the short ends together using 1/4″ seam allowance.

 

 

15 Finger press the seam open and finish sewing down the remaining binding to the mat.

16 Snip all around the edge of the mat at 1cm intervals, taking care not to cut the stitches.

 

 

17 Push the binding over to the back of the mat.  Pin in the ditch from the front, making sure the binding is caught at the back.

 

 

18 Stitch in the ditch from the front side finishing with a reverse stitch.

 

 

And you’re finished!

Improv Curves Placemats

 

Adorn your table with your beautiful mats and wait for the compliments!

 

Improv Curves Placemats

 

So why not have a go at this organic and fun technique!

 

I hope you enjoy your venture into improv. curves!

 

Happy curving!

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Spring into Summer Table Projects


By Judith on April 28, 2018
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Hi everyone!

 

My, isn’t April whizzing by too quickly!!  I managed a little sewing this week, despite the chaos of having more work done in my home!  But more on that another day!

 

In the meantime, here is a run through of the projects on my Spring into Summer table.

 

Spring into Summer Classroom Display

 

At the front of my table are 2 little Dumpling Pouches.

 

Medicine (Dumpling) Pouches

 

The original tutorial is for the small size, and I characterised it into a handbag friendly medicine pouch with a little applique!

 

Medicine (Dumpling) Pouches

 

To achieve the larger pouch, simply enlarge the template on a printer and use a longer zipper.

 

Medicine (Dumpling) Pouches

 

Also at the front of the table are my Flex Frame Glasses cases (tutorial available here) and my Travel Toiletry Bag.

 

Travel Washbag

 

I’ll be teaching the Toiletry Bag as a Saturday Workshop on 16th June (pattern available here).

 

Next up is my Beach Bag.

 

Beach Bag (Pretty Patches Aug16)

 

This roomy bag is lined with water-resistant Rip-Stop and includes a useful ‘wet bag’ for your soggy swimsuit and lotions!

 

Beach Bag (Pretty Patches Aug16)

 

The pattern is available here!

 

Finally, 3 summer bags!

 

Pineapple Bag for Quilt Now

 

My Pineapple Tote was a fun design for Quilt Now, mixing a little scrappy piecing and foundation paper piecing.  You can read lots more about the features of this tropical tote here!

 

Beach Ball Bag (Sewing World June16)

 

My Beach Ball Bag uses the porthole technique to cleverly turn a square pinwheel block into a round beach ball.

It’s another roomy bag for keeping all your summer shopping secure!  Read more about it here.

 

Summer Flowers Bag (Popular Patchwork Bag special May16)

 

And finally, my Summer Flowers Shopping Bag!

 

I used ‘economy’ squares to showcase the prettiest floral fabric and a sweet stripe border, mitred at the corners (look closely!).  Aren’t they lovely with the Essex linen background!

 

 

 

While the faux leather handles can be a little tricky to sew-in, they are totally worth it!  I love the finish they give to this sturdy shopper! And here’s where I get them!

 

Well, including previous Spring into Summer posts (here and here), that’s the roundup of the projects currently on my classroom display table.

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed hearing a little more about them!

 

Happy sewing!

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Quilt Now Designer Feature


By Judith on April 13, 2018
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If you are a regular subscriber to Quilt Now magazine, you may recognise someone in the ‘Designer Spotlight’ this month.

 

Quilt Now Designer Spotlight

 

It was a privilege to be asked by Quilt Now to feature my new classroom and classes in the latest copy of their magazine (issue 48).

 

Quilt Now Designer Spotlight

 

I have very much enjoyed working with Katy and designing for Quilt Now in recent years, but now I’m giving almost all of my design attention to my classes.

 

Conway Mill/QN Designer Feature

 

I’m nearly 4 months into running Patchwork & Quilting classes here at Conway Mill, and I’m delighted with the response and feedback so far.

 

Conway Mill

 

My ladies are loving the wonderful light and space in the room, and I try to keep them inspired with themed quilts and project displays.

 

Conway Mill/QN Designer Feature

 

One of the things I love about working here is being surrounded by the wonderful story of what it used to be, a 19th Century Flax Mill.

 

Conway Mill/QN Designer Feature

 

Some of the original features of the Mill have survived, even through the Belfast blitz of 1941 and being set on fire during our political troubles here in the 1970’s.

 

Conway Mill/QN Designer Feature

 

How serendipitous to be bringing the art and love of textiles back into this beautiful Victorian Mill!

 

If you would like to know more about my classes, click here, or pop in to see us on the 2nd floor, grab a coffee (or lunch) in the Little Mill Bistro, or come see the many other businesses, trades, creatives and artists who work here!

 

Happy sewing!

 

 

 

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Tutorial: Quilted Plant Pot Cover


By Judith on April 10, 2018
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As promised, here is my tutorial for these uber cute Plant Pot Covers (fits an Ikea small plant pot).

 

Quilted Plant Pot Cover

 

Measurements listed are width x height

Assume 1/4″ seams

Finished Size: 4.5″ (w) x 5″ (h) x 4″ (d)

 

Quilted Plant Pot Cover

 

You will need:

Exterior: 2 x (9″ x 8.5″)

Lining: 2 x (9″ x 8.5″)

Sew-in Flex Foam (Bosal): 2 x (9″x 8.5″)

505 Basting Spray

20″ length of lace or trim

 

Make the Exterior:

1 Spray baste the exterior pieces to the flex foam pieces & quilt as desired.

 

 

2 Measure and cut out 2″ squares from the bottom corners of both exterior pieces.

 

 

3 Pin both exterior pieces right sides together. Sew both sides and bottom edges, using a reverse stitch to start and finish (leave the corners unsewn).

 

 

4 Put your hand inside the basket and push the base down flat. Then push the side seam down on top of the base seam – this brings the raw edges of the corners together. Pin.

 

 

5 Sew along the corners, using a reverse stitch to start and finish. Turn right side out.  Put to one side.

 

 

Make the Lining:

6 Repeat steps 1 – 5 for the lining, leaving a 2″ gap in a side seam for turning (do not turn right side out).

 

 

Assemble the Basket:

7 Place the exterior basket inside the lining, right sides will be together. Align & pin the side seams and top edges.

 

 

 

8 Sew around the top edge (removing the accessory tray from your machine will help here).  Start and finish with a reverse stitch.

 

 

9 Turn the basket right sides out through the gap in the lining.  Push the corners well out and hand or machine stitch the gap closed.

 

10 Push the lining into the basket and pin around the top edge, making sure the lining isn’t sitting proud above the exterior.

 

 

11 Sew around the top edge, starting and finishing with a reverse stitch.

 

12 Pin and sew the lace around the top edge, pointing upwards, and overlap the start and finish by 1/2″.

 

 

13 Fold the top of the basket out and pop in your potted plant!

 

Line ’em up and wait for the compliments!!

 

Quilted Plant Pot Cover

Happy sewing!

 

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Spring Into Summer


By Judith on April 9, 2018
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Hello there!

 

It’s a new week and a new season of Just Jude Designs classes!

 

Our focus in class this term is ‘Curves’ in particular the Drunkard’s Path, and the ‘no pin’ method of sewing this wonderfully versatile block (read all about the projects here).

 

I can’t wait to see my ladies conquer a new challenge!

 

To celebrate our new term, I have changed the quilts on display in my classroom, and also my little display table has been given a new theme!

 

Spring into Summer Classroom Display

 

Spring into Summer!

 

Gone are all the Easter projects, and we are now focusing on lighter evenings, temperatures on the rise (finally) and a building excitement of Spring into Summer!

 

Spring into Summer Classroom Display

 

As before, I’ll be doing a series of posts on the items displayed, pointing you in the direction of patterns and tutorials.

 

Spring into Summer Classroom Display

 

And to kick us off, I’ll be giving you a free tutorial tomorrow on how to make these cute pot plant holders!

 

Quilted Plant Pot Covers

 

Tune in tomorrow for more creative fun!

 

 

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New Class Project: Drunkard’s Path


By Judith on April 2, 2018
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Happy April to you all!

 

Well despite it being ‘Spring’ with sweet crocuses in full bloom in my garden, today I drove through snow showers with 2 degrees registered on my dashboard! Brrrrrrr!

 

So let’s leave the present for now, and think ahead 1 week instead, when hopefully the weather will be much better as my new term of classes start up again after the Easter break!

 

For a while now I’ve been threatening exhorting my ladies to confront their fears and give curved piecing a try!

 

So we’ve decided to get our ‘big girl’ pants on and jump in to this exciting new technique!

 

 

I will be teaching the ‘no pin’ method of curved piecing, as well as how to trim a drunkard’s path unit to achieve different effects.

 

Small Projects:

 

For those who want to make a smaller project, I have designed and written several patterns.

 

‘Ripples’ Cushion:

 

Ripples DP Cushion (class project)
19.5″ x 19.5″

 

 

In this cushion you can use up lots of your colourful scraps, alternate with just a few colours, or use a different fabric in each ‘ripple’ as I have done here.

 

Ripples DP Cushion (class project)

 

The cute ditsy fabrics I’ve used here are ‘Katie Jane’ by Makower, which were leftovers from this quilt project.

 

Pattern available here.

 

‘Baubles’ Table Runner & Mats:

 

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

 

 

There are 5 ‘bauble’ shapes in this runner, but you could easily add more or less to suit your table.  Wouldn’t this be lovely in Christmas fabrics for a festive table dressing!

 

The pattern includes instructions on how to make & attach bias binding, and 4 complimentary mats.

 

Pattern available here.

 

‘In The Round’ Heart Cushion:

 

In The Round Heart DP Cushion (Class project)

 

I love the versatility of the drunkard’s path block, and the heart shape in this pom pom trimmed cushion is a great example.

 

For the background I have used Essex Yarn Dyed Linen (Flax) (available to purchase here).

 

Pattern available here.

 

Quilt Projects:

 

And for those ladies who want to ‘go large’ here are my quilt designs:

 

Butterfly Garden Quilt:

 

Butterfly Garden DP Quilt (class project)
48″ x 64″

 

 

The drunkard’s path block here creates pretty wing/petal shapes, a lovely way to showcase your floral fabrics and some echo quilting.

 

Butterfly Garden DP Quilt (class project)

 

Pattern available here.

 

Autumn Garden Quilt:

 

Autumn Garden Quilt (Popular Patchwork Nov16)
56″ x 56″

 

 

By not trimming the drunkard’s path units, you can get a different effect, as shown in this lap quilt.

 

Autumn Garden Quilt (Popular Patchwork Nov16)

 

I’ve used Essex Yarn Dyed Linen (Denim) as the background in this quilt (available to purchase here).

 

Pattern available here.

 

Drunken Hearts Quilt:

 

Drunken Hearts Quilt - Sewing World Feb16
79″ x 76″ Photo courtesy of British Patchwork & Quilting

 

 

Just like the ‘In The Round’ Heart Cushion, this quilt is made from drunkard’s path heart blocks.

 

For the background of this quilt I have used Essex Yarn Dyed Linen (Black) available to purchase here.

 

Pattern avaialable here.

 

I have two more quilt examples of drunkard’s path variations, the patterns for which I hope to be able to make available soon.

 

Hippy Blush Quilt (Popular Patchwork March18)
Hippy Blush Quilt – read more here.

 

 

Oriental Clamshells Quilt (Popular Patchwork Jan18)
Oriental Clams Quilt – read more here.

 

Wow! That was a long post!  Thank you for sticking with all my ‘curves’!

 

If you would like to learn how to make drunkard’s path units (& all of these projects) & have a lot of fun along the way, then why not join in with our other crazy creatives and register for our class starting w/c 9th April. More details on classes available here.

 

Happy curving!

 

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Easter Table (part 3)


By Judith on March 26, 2018
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Hello everyone, well with less than a week until Easter day, I thought it was about time I finished off my Easter Table series.

 

 

As promised, I’m giving this post over to the 2 remaining items on my table.  Can you spot them?

 

The totally brilliant book ‘Farm Girl Vintage’ by Lori Holt is jammed packed with lovely blocks and quilt ideas.

 

Easter Chick cushion

 

A long while ago I made the 12″ chick block from the book.  I had thought about putting it into a quilt, but instead decided to turn it into a cushion for my Easter table!

 

 

Cushions are basically mini-quilts, so you can always have a little more fun with the quilting without getting overwhelmed by a big quilt.

 

Easter Chick cushion

 

And the 2nd converted block is Mama Hen!  I have made a few 12″ Mama Hen’s, along with some bee mates, for a Siblings Together quilt.

 

Mama Hen Kitchen mat

 

This time, I have converted the block into a fun kitchen mat!  I have even used some of the text which came on a Lori Holt Bee Basics panel! Cute or what!

 

Mama Hen Kitchen mat

 

If you haven’t already gotten hold of this book, I highly recommend it!  (There is a copy of the book in the class library for my ladies to borrow.)

 

 

So that concludes my Easter series!

 

I hope you enjoyed it and have fun getting creative for Easter.

 

Keep sewing!

 

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Flex & Framed Purses Workshop


By Judith on March 21, 2018
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Last Saturday we had my first all day workshop at the Mill.

 

Flex & Framed Purses workshop

 

Myself and 9 adventurous ladies settled in a for a St.Paddy’s Day knees-up with a difference!

 

Flex and Framed Purses were the order of the day, with lots of tea, coffee and craic thrown in!

 

Saturday Workshop (Flex & Framed Purses) Mar18

 

By lunchtime the ladies had reached the half-way mark by conquering the tricky glue stage on one side of their purse frames!

 

Saturday Workshop (Flex & Framed Purses) Mar18

 

Then it was onto the flex frame glasses cases.  Sadly I forgot to take some pictures, so trust me when I say they turned out brilliantly!

 

Saturday Workshop (Flex & Framed Purses) Mar18

 

I think it’s safe to say that everyone had a lot of fun, and now have 2 more handmade gift ideas for next Christmas!

 

 

And if you enjoy a little EPP (English Paper Piecing) but hate all the cutting out, my newly listed Hexie Framed Purse Kits are available again in my Etsy shop.

 

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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Disappearing Blocks!


By Judith on March 11, 2018
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In my classes last week, I gave another ‘5 minute demo’.  This month the demo was all about Disappearing Blocks!

 

No, not magic tricks or a trick of the eye.  But how to turn a well known quilt block into something rather special (without lots of intricate piecing)!

The following are pictorial instructions on how to make the disappearing blocks.  A few notes to consider before we get started:

 

    • please work on the basis of colour placement being the same in each series, even if the fabrics are slightly different! (A big thank you to my daughter for making all the blocks)
    • I haven’t included sizes here.  You need to start with the finished block size and work backwards allowing for extra seam allowances per cut.
    • The position of the ‘cut’ lines can vary to give different effects, as long as they are equidistant from each seam.
    • check out my pinterest board for tutorials, sizes and variations.

 

1. Disappearing 9 Patch:

 

 

Here’s what to do:

 

2. Disappearing 9 Patch Variation:

 

 

Here’s what to do:

 

3.  Double Disappearing 9 Patch:

 

 

Here’s what to do:

 

4. Disappearing Hourglass:

 

 

Here’s what to do:

 

 

 

5. Disappearing Pinwheel:

 

 

Here’s what to do:

 

 

6. Disappearing Pinwheel Variation:

 

 

Here’s what to do:

 

 

7. Disappearing Four Patch:

(assume finished block is in same fabrics!)

 

 

Here’s what to do:

 

 

 

8. Disappearing 4 Patch Variation:

Start with another 4 patch block.

 

 

 

These are just a sample of the many disappearing blocks you can make! Aren’t they cool!

 

photo courtesy of British Patchwork & Quilting magazine

 

And if you make a quilt with one of these disappearing blocks, you can get some lovely secondary patterns emerging too, like my Disappearing 9 Patch quillow (pattern available here.)

 

I hope you have been inspired and have fun making some impressive (yet easy) quilt blocks!

 

Happy sewing!

 

 

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Goodbye My Friend!


By Judith on March 10, 2018
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Today I lost a very dear friend to cancer!

 

 

As a single mum to 3 gorgeous girls, her strength, courage and love for life has been (& will continue to be) my inspiration.  Over the past 13 years we have laughed and cried together, prayed and worked together, and sewed together (Heather was a very talented quilter).

 

3 weeks ago, she had her last birthday, in hospital sadly.  I had made her a quilt, which she got to see.  It made her smile!

 

Heather's Quilt Feb'18

 

I wanted a bright, colourful and happy quilt for Heather, to reflect her sunny personality.  These fabrics are called Soul Blossoms by Amy Butler, and the symbolic cream motifs are Friendship Stars.

 

Heather's Quilt Feb'18

 

She had a great sense of humour and was selflessly devoted to her girls. I’m blessed to have had many opportunities to spend with Heather these past 18 months during her illness.

 

Heather's Quilt Feb'18

 

We loved a good rummage in charity shops (she knew all the best ones), hours and hours in coffee shops (she was the best listener) and nights out at the flicks (even if she did nod off occasionally!).  And of course, we both shared a love of fabric and sewing.  She was even attending my classes until a few weeks ago (I finished the quilt she was working on and it was on her bed when she passed).

 

Heather's Quilt Feb'18

 

I will miss my lovely friend, and my heart is breaking for the 3 beautiful girls she leaves behind, on the eve of Mothers Day.

 

But we share the same faith, and while we said ‘goodbye’ on Monday, through love and tears, we both know that it is only ‘farewell’ until we see each other again in heaven.  And then we will have endless years of fun, frolics and friendship together!

 

Goodbye my friend.  You had courage, grace and dignity right to the very end.  See you on the other side.

 

 

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Birthday Quilt & Sew-In


By Judith on February 26, 2018
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A few months back, a good friend approached me with an idea for her 50th birthday celebrations – a ‘Sew-In’ at The Mill.

 

Her wish was to gather around her closest friends and equip them to each make a personalised quilt block for a birthday memory quilt.  Isn’t that a lovely idea!

 

50th Birthday Sew-In at the Mill

 

So at the weekend, 18 of us had a wonderful breakfast in The Little Mill Bistro, before heading upstairs to my classroom to get creative!

 

50th Birthday Sew-In at the Mill

50th Birthday Sew-In at the Mill

50th Birthday Sew-In at the Mill

While not all of the ladies were confident sewers, creativity and ideas weren’t lacking!

 

50th Birthday Sew-In at the Mill

 

My daughter Shannon assisted with a little free motion sketching where needed, and by lunchtime, we had 15 almost completed blocks (not all displayed here).

 

50th Birthday Sew-In at the Mill

 

All that is left to do, is machine sketch some text the ladies have requested, and make the blocks into a quilt for my friend!

 

It was a really fun morning and all the ladies (& the birthday girl!) left with big smiles and happy memories!

 

Of course I couldn’t not make my friend of 20 years a quilt myself!!

 

Shirley's Birthday Quilt
63″ x 63″

 

These fabrics are mostly Honeysweet by Fig Tree Quilts, with a little complimentary Tilda thrown in for good measure!

 

Shirley's Birthday Quilt

 

Working from a layer cake, I wanted to stretch out the yardage as far as it would go, so I kept the cutting to a minimum.

 

Shirley's Birthday Quilt

 

Some Tilda Harvest Bird Tree (Ginger) seemed like the perfect yardage for the back!

 

Shirley's Birthday Quilt

 

I gifted the quilt to my friend at the sew-in yesterday and it was very well received! Yay!

 

 

Another successful day!

 

“The noblest art is that of making others happy!” P T Barnam

 

Happy sewing!

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‘Take Wing’ Classes Roundup


By Judith on February 17, 2018
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This was the last week of our ‘Take Wing’ Butterfly wallhanging series.

 

31 brave ladies have been diving into the exacting and at times demanding technique of foundation paper piecing using Lillyella’s ‘Take Wing’ butterfly pattern.

 

And just look at some of the results!

 

Take Wing Butterfly Class Feb18

 

Aren’t they majestic!

 

Each one a unique metamorphosis of creative energy and courage into raw talent and beauty!

 

Some will be transformed into wallhangings and some into cushion covers.

 

I’m so proud of all my ladies for undertaking this project, especially for those who found themselves well and truly out of their comfort zone!

 

Well done everyone!

 

Enjoy your amazing creations!

 

 

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‘Hearts Full of Roses’ Quilt


By Judith on February 11, 2018
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Every now and then I get to make quilts as gifts.

 

Hearts Full of Roses Quilt (for Rose!)

 

Last November I became a Great Auntie for the first time! Can you believe it!

 

Sweet baby Rose was born and of course I wanted to make her a quilt!

 

Hearts Full of Roses Quilt (for Rose!)

 

Now it took me until the Christmas holidays (and then some!) to get going on this quilt.

 

Firstly I was stuck for inspiration, and then my quilty friend Geraldine of SophieBelleDesigns over on IG gave me the perfect idea!  Hearts! (Thank you G!).

 

Hearts Full of Roses Quilt (for Rose!)

 

I had already picked up a girly bundle of floral fabrics from the quilting shop where I used to work, some ‘Fleurs Petite Bouquet’ (Brenda Riddle Acorn Quilts) and with the odd Tilda print thrown in I now knew what to do with them!

 

Hearts Full of Roses Quilt (for Rose!)

 

Using the fabulous ‘Heart Blocks in Multiple Sizes’ tutorial by Cluck Cluck Sew, I made 9″ blocks with 1″ sashing between them.

 

Hearts Full of Roses Quilt (for Rose!)

 

It wasn’t until after I finished quilting it that I realised all the fabrics have Roses in them!  How cool is that!

The quilt finishes at 42″ square, which made a cute little bundle when wrapped up, ready to post to another cute little bundle.

 

Hearts Full of Roses Quilt (for Rose!)

 

And I’m pleased to say that both Rose and mummy love her new quilt!

 

 

Now the observant among you will know I usually photograph my quilts outside in natural light!

 

Well here’s why all of these photos were taken indoors!

 

Hearts Full of Roses Quilt (for Rose!)

 

Happy blowing sewing!

 

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HSTs, QSTs and HRTs


By Judith on February 2, 2018
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Hi everyone!

In class this week, our ‘5 minute lesson’ was all about HSTs (Half Square Triangles), QSTs (Quarter Square Triangles) and HRTs (no not that type of HRT! Half Rectangle Triangles!).

 

 

These versatile and clever units form the many building blocks of quilt and quilt block design!

 

They are component parts that follow the same construction principles but with their many design possibilities, they just keep on giving!

 

Sewing with triangles can be tricky, especially as those naughty bias edges can flex and stretch!  But despite the word ‘triangle’ being mentioned in the names of all of these techniques, at no point are individual triangles sewn together! How cool is that!

 

Let’s start with the humble Half Square Triangle.

 

Half Square Triangles (HSTs):

 

Method 1 (yields 2 identical hsts):

 

Start off by putting 2 squares right sides together.

 

 

Draw a pencil line corner to corner on the wrong side of one of the squares and sew 1/4″ either side of the line.

 

 

Cut along the line to create 2 identical half square triangle units.  Press the seams open (always press bias seams open where possible).

 

 

How easy was that!

Method 2 (yields 4 identical hsts):

Place 2 squares right sides together and sew 1/4″ around all four sides.

 

 

Cut in half from corner to corner, and then into quarters through the opposite corners.

 

 

As before, press the seams open.

 

 

And now that you have cracked hsts, the design possibilities are endless!  Here are a couple of my own HST quilts, but for lots more variations, including sizing charts, check out my HST Pinterest Board!

 

Autumn Boho Quilt (British Patchwork & Quilting Sept17)
Autumn Boho Quilt made with giant hsts!

Chevron Heaven Quilt (April17 Popular Patchwork Magazine)
Chevron Heaven!

 

Houndstooth Quilt for LPQ (Nov16)
Modern Houndstooth – hsts and squares
Rainbow Geese (photo courtesy of Sewing World magazine)

 

 

Quarter Square Triangles (QSTs):

This time you need 2 lots of half square triangles.  You can work with 2 fabrics, or like I’m doing here, 4 different fabrics.

 

 

Now take 1 hst from each pair and place them right sides together so that their seams are lying on top of each other.

 

 

Draw a line corner to corner perpendicular to the existing seam. Sew 1/4″ either side of the line.

 

 

Cut along the line to separate and press the seams open.  Now you have 2 identical QST blocks, with each of the 4 fabrics in each unit.

 

 

See if you can spot the QSTs in my friend Susan’s gorgeous ‘Blue Moon’ quilt.

 

 

I have a little QST quilt in the works, but I can only show you this sneaky peak  for now ……..

 

 

….. but check out my QST Pinterest board for lots more clever ideas & sizing charts!

 

Half Rectangle Triangles (HRTs):

As with HSTs and QSTs we will be sewing either side of a diagonal pencil line, but this time, because we are working with rectangles, the layering is different.

 

 

Placing the fabrics right sides together, make sure the pencil line runs to the opposite corners of the other rectangle.

When these have been sewn, separated and pressed, you will need to trim off the excess fabric at the corners before using them.

 

 

And if you change the direction of the pencil line in other units, you can achieve lots of different effects.  Here’s a little Twizzler block I made for the class lesson.

 

 

I haven’t made an HRT quilt yet, but it is most definitely on my bucket list!

But please check out my HRT Pinterest board for inspiration overload! Oh my! I want to make them all!

If you’ve always wanted to design your own quilts but have been unsure of where to start, then why not give HSTs, QSTs or HRTs a try!

I hope you feel inspired!  Thank you for tuning in!

Happy sewing!

 

 

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Travel Sewing Pouch Tutorial


By Judith on January 20, 2018
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Happy weekend everyone!

 

I hope you’ve had a good week.

 

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!

 

7.5” x 17.5” (19cm x 44.5cm) opened;  7.5” x 9” (19cm x 23cm) closed

 

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!

 

Materials/Cutting:

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

Button

Basting Spray (505)

5” plastic zipper

Zipper foot

Non-permanent marking pen/tool

 

Method:

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.

 

 

Fill with all your sewing essentials!

 

 

Happy sewing!

 

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Snow Stars Quilt


By Judith on January 3, 2018
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Last day to enter my celebration giveaway. Enter here.

 

Hello everyone!

 

How is your new year going so far?

 

I’m trying to get back into running (been soaked twice!) and eat healthier (took 4 days to get through a sweet potato & carrot salad…… yawn!).

 

I’m a little behind in blogging about my January magazine commissions, so I’d better get a shimmy on!

 

Snow Stars Quilt (Pretty Patches Jan18)

 

This is ‘Snow Stars’, my quilty ballad to the wintery wonder of snow!

 

We don’t often get significant snow here, and I have a paradoxical relationship with it when it does show up!  The romantic in me loves the peaceful stillness of a virginal snow fall, but the damp practicalities of travelling and trying to do life in it, well it’s ……. trying!

 

Snow Stars Quilt (Pretty Patches Jan18)

 

I’ve represented these stark contrasts in Snow Stars by using Essex Yarn Dyed Linen (Denim) as the background, allowing the low volume stars to pop out.

 

Snow Stars Quilt (Pretty Patches Jan18)

 

The half square triangle technique for making the blocks  means you get 2 identical star blocks at a time!

 

Snow Stars Quilt (Pretty Patches Jan18)

 

A friend of mine quilted Snow Stars on her frame, using the perfect snowflake pantograph.

 

Snow Stars Quilt (Pretty Patches Jan18)

 

Isn’t it perfect!  And trusty Ikea ‘Numbers’ on the back completes my ‘Ode to Snow’!

 

Snow Stars Quilt (Pretty Patches Jan18)

 

And it’s always nice to make front cover!

 

Snow Stars Quilt (Pretty Patches Jan18)

 

Keep warm!

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Starry Christmas Night Quilt


By Judith on November 16, 2017
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Hello everyone!

 

I’ve been overwhelmed by the wonderful response to my new venture! It’s been so lovely to be ‘cheered on’ from all my friends here, on FB and Instagram.  Thank you, it means a lot!

 

I’ve barely had time to think about other projects lately, but I can show you a Christmas quilt I made back in the summer!

 

The Night Before Christmas Quilt (Popular Patchwork Nov17)
50″ x 60″

 

This is called ‘Starry Christmas Night’ using the evocative ‘Countryside Christmas’ collection from Lewis & Irene.

 

The Night Before Christmas Quilt (Popular Patchwork Nov17)
Perfect ‘fussy cut’ fabrics!

 

When Popular Patchwork sent me the fabrics, I immediately thought of cosy winter evenings snuggled up by the fire!

 

The Night Before Christmas Quilt (Popular Patchwork Nov17)
Applique Stars

The night before Christmas in the Hollies Household involves a carol service at my church, followed by a Baileys on ice, warm mince pies and wrapping presents!

 

I don’t have an open fire yet in my new house (I’m saving up for a rustic cast iron stove!) but I can just visualise me one Christmas eve sitting next to the stove, drinking my Baileys and snuggling under this lap quilt watching a cheesy Christmas movie!

 

The Night Before Christmas Quilt (Popular Patchwork Nov17)
Background: Kona Shadow

The Countryside Christmas fabrics have beautiful motifs of cute robins, night owls, foxes, deer and winter scenes.

 

The Night Before Christmas Quilt (Popular Patchwork Nov17)

 

And of course, when there’s a stripe, there will be stripey binding!

 

The Night Before Christmas Quilt (Popular Patchwork Nov17)

 

The astute among you will notice an imposter in this quilt!  I didn’t quite have enough of Countryside Christmas for the design I was after, so I added some Tilda Candy Bloom (skinny border and backing).  It goes quite well with Lewis and Irene, don’t you think!

 

The Night Before Christmas Quilt (Popular Patchwork Nov17)
Ah, the blue skies of summer!

This quilt came together really quickly.  So if you like a little bit of piecing, and a little bit of applique, then why not pick up the November issue of Popular Patchwork.

 

It’s really easy to spot because I’m cover girl!

 

The Night Before Christmas Quilt (Popular Patchwork Nov17)

 

Happy sewing!

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FAL 2017: Meet the Host – Capitola Quilter


By Judith on November 15, 2017
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Hi there!  I’m Karen and blog at CapitolaQuilter .  I’ve been participating since the beginning of Finish-A-Long and am honored to have joined in as one of the International Hosts this year.   It’s hard to believe we are already wrapping up 2017.

 

Pre-QCon Selfie 2017

 

Have you enjoyed reading the FAL Meet the Host monthly guest blogger posts?  Well, now it’s my turn to to be featured in the series!  Here goes a picture filled post starting with most importantly, my beautiful family.

Family

Summer 2016

I am married to a wonderful guy and we have two grown boys.  We are incredibly proud of the men they have become and adore the women they have chosen to spend their lives with.  Enjoying time with our granddaughter and watching her reach milestones that we remember when our kids were young like it was yesterday and yet a lifetime ago is quite the mind game.

Look how cute and little they were!!!  My oversized glasses and shoulder pads date our family portrait and the “Big Hair-Skinny Tie” picture was the perfect share for my first ever swap called I heart the 80’s a Flickr group.  I wish I still had that hand-dyed silk dress although in reality, we prefer jeans and a t-shirt.  This summer marks our 35th anniversary.

 

Flashback Family Photos
In 2002 we adopted two German Shorthair pointers. Always underfoot,  Dottie’s trick was to step on my foot pedal (until I upgraded my sewing machine with a start/stop button) and innocently walk in the way of photos.  Chase perfected the skill of lying on a quilt if I glanced away – for a minute – while basting.
Sadly, we recently lost them both to sudden illness after long full lives and have no animals at the moment.   Pets are considered family members to us and Hubby wants a puppy but I am not ready.

Capitola Quilter

Frequently mistaken for “Capitol, a Quilter” or “capital A quilter” , my blog name is easily misunderstood if you don’t happen to be familiar with the small town on the coast of California USA where I live, Capitola.   Spanning less than 2 square mile with a population of about 10K, it isn’t a big city but is rich in history and a constant source of inspiration.
BeeSewcial “Reflections” Capitola Photoshoot
Although our house is not one of the big beautiful oceanfront ones you see in the picturesque backdrops when I take my quilts on a photoshoot,  we’re still pretty lucky to be able to walk to the beach and enjoy mild weather.
Santa Cruz quilt photoshoot by Anne Sullivan

Thanks for indulging me – now on to the QUILTS!

The Early Years – Quilts from Patterns

Among the first quilts I made was a gift for my mother-in-law that included a picture of her seven grandkids.   It is sweet with coordinating prints, fussy cornerstones, sashing and a border.  Image transfer was high-tech at the time but peeling their faces off to iron down was totally creepy. Thank goodness Spoonflower came along!

1998-1999 one of my first quilts
My Scrappy Maximalist style had a kickstart when my friends brought fabric to a surprise Quilt-themed birthday party in my honor.  The assortment received did NOT go together so I used black and white with uniform shapes to bring order and incorporated quote blocks.  It is one of my most sentimental quilts and the beginning of my desire to create original works.
My Birthday Quilt-themed party Quilt
Following patterns from books, I made these wedding quilts out of batiks, traditional and modern stash.  I had the chance to meet Anita Grossman Solomon at Quilt Festival Houston 2014 and see her Old Italian Block quilt in the exhibit.  I subtitled my blog SecondHandScraps because I eagerly accept leftovers from friends who know my reputation for scrappiness.
Old Italian Block 2012 and Split Nine-Patch 2011

In 2013 local quilt store SueDee’s featured my quilts on display in a solo show.  Using the MoStash and Friends+Fabric =AMSB bee blocks that I received and adding my own enlarged blocks, the Giant xPlus was a hit and is what I keep on our bed.

Opening Reception
It didn’t seem like an ambitious task when I set out to make each of my nieces, nephews and my own kids a 21st Birthday quilt.   I stayed on track until the final three and thankfully all twelve are finally delivered.  Among the tardy is this Full size quilt that rolled over from quarter to quarter on my FAL list frequently.  I included a jumbo delectable mountain for the backing and two matching shams.
a rare “Guy” quilt
Early on I only sewed for gifts and charity giving away all of my quilts.  I didn’t have a single one in my house!  Since then I’ve kept  a few – as evident by this adorable photo:

More than Quilts

Quilting came into my life as an adult but I grew up wearing handmade and learned to sew clothes in 4-H as a kid excelling in HomeEc in Jr. High and High School.   Somewhere along the way I misplaced the confidence and skills and have had little success making myself garments.  I’ve dabbled with clothes for my granddaughter since she’s much easier to please and fit than I am.

Hart’s Fabric, a family owned independent brick and mortar fabric store since 1969 (a rarity these days) is still the same place I go to shop.  My improv seagull, poppy field and mountains design was chosen for their 2016 Row by Row Experience pattern.

Bags are quick and rewarding makes.  I enjoy browsing thrift stores for handwork and feel compelled to rescue the abandoned treasures like the patchwork cat needlework used in The Wasted Swap tote (lower right).

Original Designs and Influences

Most of what I make now are original or modified designs rather than from patterns.  Perspective was designed using Play Crafts tool Equal, made in a whirlwind 10 days and displayed at Hart’s to show off the Loominous fabric line. An edgy improv butterfly seemed fitting use of the Sweet Rebellion fabric line for Ink & Arrow’s blog hop.Goats Askew  pushed a lot of technical boundaries.   I loved being one of the Score for Bias Strip Petals testers and part of Sherri Lynn Wood’s gallery here even though it was not published in her book.  I’ve taken two workshops with her and got to show and tell in person at the last one.

I didn’t make an All-Solids quilt until 2014 which seems crazy since that is the majority of what I work in now.  Capitola Crossing was directly inspired by an antique quilt, details blogged here.  It was displayed at Amish: the Modern Muse, a juried exhibit representing three Modern Guilds in the FiberSpace section of the San Jose Museum of Quilt and Textiles.

Perspective, Dare to Fly, Goats Askew and Capitola Crossing

My style has expanded to include Improvisation with Meaning in the Make since joining BeeSewcial.  The Graphic and Minimalistic focus also comes from Quilt Design A Day, QDAD a Facebook group that I am admin for.   Both encourage exploration and push me beyond boundaries more than I’d ever imagined.

The transformation of a design mock up to a finished quilt is a process I highly recommend trying.  Here are four samples: Two challenges for our local show,  “Resonate” for the AGF Heartland Tour Blog Hop, and Castle in The Sand a collaborative quilt with valued mentor Pam Rocco.   As you can see I’ve deviated from he original design but have captured the essence which is more my goal.

Examples of #QDAD2Reality
Contributing blocks for QuiltCon First Place group bee winners: 2016 Debbie Jeske’s Mod Mood and 2017 Stephanie Ruyle’s Direction Optional  was such an honor.  Fortunately I had the opportunity to be there to see the quilts up close in person and help celebrate.  Thanks to the QDAD Showcase and Quilt of the Month Special Exhibit,  my own quilts hung in Savannah at QuiltCon East.
Left: Me & my Quilts, Right: BeeSewcial at QuiltCon
QDADers being silly

This year I’m going to enter my absoulutely stunning Reflections BeeSewcial quilt and hope, hope, hope it is accepted.   Now that I’ve puzzled this one together I should have no trouble with the next two, right?

 

Reflections BeeSewcial Quilt

Here are just a few of my favorite BeeSewcial blocks that I’ve made and a mosaic from 2015:

I was diligent about documenting blocks back in the Flickr days and am sentimentally fond of them despite how different in style they are.

2012 Flickr Group Bee Blocks

 

Quilting with friends is really special to me.  Fortunately this happens on a regular basis with a small local group and annually with our guild.  I’ve also managed to crash a couple of sister guild retreats too!  My wish is to have a larger Multi-Chapter or Regional sewing meet up, a casual no frills opportunity to hang out with nearby peeps that I “know” from social media someday.

Local Friends, Sew and Stroll
SBAMQG Annual Fall Retreat 2012-2017

 

I’m also lucky to meet up with my sis who lives far away at quilty events like QuiltCon, Quilt Festival and Empty Spools.  For the 90’s themed party at Glamp Stitchalot we had fun dressing up and although my closet may still have authentic garments from the era,  I repurposed a plaid blazer into a skirt.

Sewing Sisters

 

We’ll be together at another QuiltCon in February – say “hi” if you see us. She’ll be the one perfecting her skills in back to back workshops and I’ll be the one striking up a conversation with a perfect stranger, embarrassing myself with fangirl selfies and sporting a blue volunteer t-shirt.

Looking Back and Moving Forward

Being part of our MQG guild chapter South Bay Area MQG from the beginning, serving as VP and chairing committees has made a huge impact.  Learning from one another and being part of something bigger holds a special place in my heart.

QuiltCon Charity blocks 2013

I never would have guessed the first tutorial as a brand new blogger, Polaroids Chain Pieced would generate the highest traffic to date and show up on tons of Pinterest boards.  A special shout out to my blog followers!

This summer I had the pleasure of teaching my first workshop, a technique and design rather than project based class.   Students did great playing with parts and possibilities and their enthusiasm made for a fun time.  I hope to have more opportunities in the future and am developing a spin off class that I’m excited about.

 

  Last but not least, My Workspace

Once upon a time, I had an organized sewing space in a small L-shaped room of our house as a legit place to create.  Yardage stored on comic boards in bookshelves and FQ-ish bundles kept in an antique cabinet with scrap tubs lining the perimeter of the ceiling on a shelf.  Some weekends I would rarely step away and loose all track of time.  It was all inclusive but a little lonely and cramped.
To be more centrally located I temporarily put up a portable design wall, sewing and cutting table in the living room only I have never moved back.  My old room is now a glorified closet,  piled high with projects in buckets and bags waiting to be put back where they belong – or better yet, finished.
Sewing in the Living Room
When I get in the productive zone, I just push aside what’s in my way or brush it to the floor and keep going.  I may be sewing fewer scrappy quilts these days but I am certainly not making less scraps!
Thanks for taking the time to learn more about me and the creative frenzy that has been my journey so far.  I wish you all the best of luck with your FAL goals and hope you continue to carve out a quilty path that brings you joy.
Happy Stitching, Karen aka CapitolaQuilter

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New Quilting Classes!


By Judith on November 14, 2017
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Hello everyone!

Thank you for your patience in waiting until today for my BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!

 

 

Well I can finally reveal that I will be starting up again my own programme of patchwork and quilting classes!  Woohoo!

 

For the past 3 years I have been teaching in Quilter’s Quest, Belfast.  But their announcement at the end of October to close gave me the push opportunity I needed to look elsewhere for premises.

 

Before I joined Quilter’s Quest, I had taught my own programme of classes for 5 years.  A sudden change in personal circumstances meant I had to stop, but it was always my dream to one day return to inspiring and motivating others into Quilting through my own programme.

 

And now that dream is coming true!

 

Conway Mill is a beautifully converted Linen and Flax Mill (you can read more about their history and ethos here).  It is jammed packed with lots of other creative enterprises, from artists, to architects, hairdressers, dressmakers, media tech, charities and much more!  It also has the most gorgeous coffee shop & bistro too (that’s lunchtimes sorted then!).  I’m on the 2nd floor, but don’t worry there are lifts and lots of convenient parking.

 

I acquired the last available unit, all 525 square feet of it!  No pictures just yet as it needs painted and fitted out.  But don’t worry, I’ll give you the obligatory before and after shots!

 

I will finish out the current term at Quilter’s Quest in December, and start my new programme w/c 8th January (get more details here).

 

 

But before that, I will be having an open day on Saturday 9th December, 10am -4pm.  This is your opportunity to come and see the newly fitted out premises, get more info on the classes, have a cuppa, chat and a traybake (or two!) and smooch around the room and the Mill.

 

I hope you can come and share this exciting new adventure with me!

 

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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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FAL 2017: Q3 Proposed Finishes Linkup is Open!


By Judith on September 24, 2017
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It might be hard to believe but we have made it to the end of the third quarter of the 2017 FAL and it’s time to link up your Q3 finishes!


The 2017 FAL has a community of bloggers across the world jointly hosting the FAL. Our hosts are:

  • Sarah – Sew me – Northern Ireland
  • Sandra – Sew of Course – Ireland (also Social Media Director)

 

Before you link up, let’s give a huge thank you to our fantastic sponsors: