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:

 




For the 2017 FAL, we continue tutorial week. Here is the schedule of fantastic tutorials, so you can visit them all:

The 2017 Q3 link for your finishes is now open below on my blog and on each of the hosting blogs – you only need to link on one blog for your finish to appear on each blog. Link-up “rules”:


  • Add one link for each finish. If you want to link a round up post of all your finishes, use that link to enter one of your finishes and then link the rest of your finishes separately. Please, only one link per finish, as your link is an entry into the randomly drawn prize draws.
 
  • Please ensure that the photo or blog post you link up contains a link or reference back to your original list so that we can verify your entry (make sure it is from the appropriate quarter). Feel free to and tag your photos #2017FALQ3yourname (substitute your name), this makes it easier for us to match your finishes with your lists.
 
  • Please become part of the FAL community. Please check out the links of others and comment. We all need encouragement so let’s applaud each other. The 2017 FAL Facebook page is here and follow us on Instagram @finishalong. 
 
  • Our hosts will also link their finishes to share in the community, but they are not eligible for any of the prizes.
 
The Q3 Finishes link will stay open from now thru September 30 at 11 pm EST – link up your finishes early and if you have a last minute one, add that one later so you don’t miss out. The prizes will be awarded as soon as we can verify all the entries and do the drawings. We will post the winners on each hosts’ blog.

And don’t forget to start making your Q4 lists as the Q4 list link opens on October 1.


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FAL 2017: Q1 and Q2 Winners!


By Judith on September 19, 2017
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Today is the day we are privileged to announce the winners for Q1 and Q2 of the 2017 Finish-Along.

If you are low on inspiration or maybe your sewing mojo has been missing lately, we highly recommend you visit some of the finishes from the first half of the year.  There are a lot of beauties linked up and ready to inspire you!

Thank you again to our generous sponsors. Without further ado, the winners – each picked by the random number generator – of the Q1 and Q2 FAL prizes are:

The Q1 Winner of the 2 PDF patterns from Just Jude Designs goes to Laura who blogs at Scraps of Life for finishing this beautiful quilt:

 

The Q2 Winner of the 2 PDF patterns from Just Jude Designs goes to Vicki who blogs at Vicki’s Crafts and Quilting and made this lovely quilt:

 

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The Q1 Winner of the $25 gift certificate from Sew Sisters Quilt Shop goes to Kirsten who blogs at Gemini Stitches who made this lovely dress:

 

The Q2 Winner of the $25 gift certificate from Sew Sisters Quilt Shop goes to Julie (@julieschloemer) who made this cheery quilt:

 

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The Q1 Winner of the 2 PDF patterns from Charm About You goes to Shady on instagram (@shadylynnb) who made this pretty quilt:

 

The Q2 Winner of the 2 PDF patterns from Charm About You goes to Karen who blogs at Weekend Textiles who made this gorgeous quilt:

 

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The Q1 Winner of the $50 gift certificate from Fat Quarter Shop goes to Mandy on instagram (@burbankquilts) for finishing this lovely quilt:


The Q2 Winner of the $50 gift certificate from Fat Quarter Shop goes to Pippa (@pippaspatch) who made this fantastic Amethyst project bag:


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The Q1 Winner of the 3 PDF patterns from Elven Garden Quilts goes to Sue who blogs at Sue W Sews for knitting this cute doll:

The Q2 Winner of the 3 PDF patterns from Elven Garden Quilts goes to Anita who blogs at Quilts in a Not-Shell and she made this lovely quilt runner:

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The Q1 Winner of the $25 gift certificate from Tartankiwi goes to Aimee on instagram (@aimeeturd) for this fun quilt: 




The Q2 Winner of the $25 gift certificate from Tartankiwi goes to Karin (@kpud) who made this adorable quilt (don’t you just love the little car on the bottom left!):

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The Q1 Winner of 3 PDF patterns from Blossom Heart Quilts goes to Pamela on instagram (@pamelajoyce84) for making this wonderful wallet:

The Q2 Winner of 3 PDF patterns from Blossom Heart Quilts goes to Heather who blogs at Quilting and Beyond and made this great baby quilt:

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The Q1 Winner of the $50 gift certificate from Mad About Patchwork goes to Jennie at Jennie’s Threads for finishing this special quilt: 





The Q2 Winner of the $50 gift certificate from Mad About Patchwork goes to Amy who blogs at Swimming in a Sea of Estrogen and she made this super cute knit shirt:

 

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The Q1 Winner of 3 PDF patterns from During Quiet Time goes to Said with Love for finishing this beauty: 

 

The Q2 Winner of 3 PDF patterns from During Quiet Time goes to Kirsten who blogs at Gemini Stitches and made this pretty crochet shawl:

 

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The Q1 Winner of your choice of 3 individual patterns from Happy Quilting goes to Diane who blogs at Random Thoughts,… do or di for finishing this faux cactus:

 

The Q2 Winner of your choice of 3 individual patterns from Happy Quilting goes to Katy (@pudgypenguincrafts) who made this fantastic sewing date traveler bag:

 

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The Q1 Winner of 2 PDF patterns from Cooking Up Quilts goes to Audrey who blogs at Hot Pink Quilts for making this stunning pillow:

 

The Q2 Winner of 2 PDF patterns from Cooking Up Quilts goes to Laura (@drlbennett) who made this cute quilt and has an even cuter helper:

 

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The Q1 Winner of 3 PDF patterns from Sew Sweetness goes to Ann who blogs at Brown Paws Quilting for finishing this bright quilt:

 

The Q2 Winner of 3 PDF patterns from Sew Sweetness goes to Pondering It All who made this pretty quilt:

 

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The Q1 Winner of a $30 gift certificate from Knotted Thread goes to Heather who blogs at Quilting and Beyond for finishing this fun present for her nephew:

 

The Q2 Winner of a $30 gift certificate from Knotted Thread goes to Kristin who blogs at Gumdrops and she made this super sweet triangle baby quilt:

 

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The Q1 Winner of the Camp Bag Pattern Pack from The Littlest Thistle goes to Magdalena, on instagram (@magdalenadetz) for finishing this beauty:

The Q2 Winner of the Camp Bag Pattern Pack from The Littlest Thistle goes to Jennifer (@crimsonconfection) who made this adorable dress for her Niece:

 

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The Q1 Winner of the $15 gift certificate from Green Fairy Quilts goes to Judy who blogs at Sew Some Sunshine for making this bold quilt:

 

The Q2 Winner of the $15 gift certificate from Green Fairy Quilts goes to Katie Mae Quilts who made this lovely log cabin quilt:

 

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The Q1 Winner of the 2 PDF patterns from Quilting Jet Girl goes to Helen, (@archiewonderdog) on Instagram for making this beautiful cushion:

 

The Q2 Winner of the 2 PDF patterns from Quilting Jet Girl goes to Linda who blogs at The Pieceful Kingdom and she made this lovely winter themed quilt:

 

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The Q1 Winner of the $30 gift certificate from Sunny Day Supply goes to Swooze who blogs at Swooze’s Quilts and Tall Tales for making this lovely charity quilt:

 

The Q2 Winner of the $30 gift certificate from Sunny Day Supply goes to Jenna who blogs at The Thorned Rose Sews and she made this holiday Marcelle Medallion pillow cover:

 

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The Q1 Winners (3) of a six month subscription each to Make Modern Magazine goes to

1. Veronica, (@vdizzledazzle) on Instagram, for finishing this lovely mini quilt:

 

2. Teresa who blogs at Aurea’s Kitchen for finishing this adorable mini quilt:

 

3. Saskia, on Instagram (@saskia253) for this finishing this amazing blanket:

The Q2 Winners (3) of a six month subscription each to Make Modern Magazine goes to:

1.   Teresa who blogs at Aurea’s Kitchen and she made this lovely (with cute details) pouch:

 

2.  Christina who blogs at Christina’s Handicrafts and she made this great table runner:

 

3.  Audrey who blogs at Hot Pink Quilts and she made this precious knit Geranium dress:

 

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The Q1 Winner of a $30 gift certificate from Clover & Violet goes to Ellyn who blogs at Ellyn’s Place for making this lovely shirt:

 

The Q2 Winner of a $30 gift certificate from Clover & Violet goes to Beth who blogs at The Anonymous Blueberry Muffin Thief Sews and she knitted this amazing shawl:

 

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The Q1 Winner of the $20 gift certificate from Sew Me A Song goes to The Running Hare for finishing this beautiful quilt:

 

The Q2 Winner of the $20 gift certificate from Sew Me A Song goes to Beth (@blue_dragonfly5) and she finished this lovely seat cushion:

 

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The Q1 Winner of the $40 gift certificate from Imagine Gnats goes to  Melinda, on Instagram (@mamasan_gerber) for finishing this stunning quilt:

The Q2 Winner of the $40 gift certificate from Imagine Gnats goes to Rachel (@intelligenceatplay) and she made this unique baby quilt:

 

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The Q1 Winner of a $25 gift certificate from Studio 39 Fabrics goes to Staci who blogs at The Confused Quilter for finishing this amazing quilt:

 

The Q2 Winner of a $25 gift certificate from Studio 39 Fabrics goes to Brown Paws Quilting who made this great quilt and honestly you should look it up because the back is just as fantastic as the front:

 

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The Q1 Winner of two pin bowls from Laurel Bee Designs goes to Cathy who blogs at Sane, Crazy, Crumby Quilting for finishing this beauty:

 

The Q2 Winner of two pin bowls from Laurel Bee Designs goes to Terry who blogs at On Going Projects and she made all of these fabric stars for her retreat mates (how nice):

 

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The Q1 Winner of $25 gift card from Frangipani Fabrics goes to Crystal who blogs at Crystal’s Creations for making this cute baby quilt:

 

The Q2 Winner of $25 gift card from Frangipani Fabrics goes to Dianne (@quiltova) who made this beautiful quilt:

 

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Congratulations to the winners and thank you to the sponsors!!  I hope you are having a successful Q3. Be prepared to start linking up those finishes starting September 24, 2017.

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Selvedge Bookmark Tutorial


By Judith on September 17, 2017
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Hello everyone!

 

How are you doing?

 

I haven’t done a tutorial here in a long while, so I thought it was time to rectify that.

 

 

You know how I’m always saving fabric scraps? Well I even keep the part of the fabric most people chuck away!

 

If like me you love to read, or know an avid reader, how about a selvedge bookmark? The perfect fabric/book loving combo!!

 

The key to keeping usable selvedges is to allow at least a quarter of an inch of fabric above the text (the edge below the text is a sealed edge, not a raw edge).

 

 

Here’s the tutorial:

 

Materials:

 

A selection of selvedges (with at least 6mm/0.25” above the text)

4” x 10” piece of heavy sew-in vilene (or wadding)

4” x 10” piece of cotton fabric (back)

1 x 10mm eyelet

12” length of narrow ribbon

 

Method:

Assume ¼” seam allowance unless advised otherwise

 

  1. Angle the top corners of the vilene/wadding by measuring 1” from each corner along the top edge and 2” down from each corner along the sides

 

 

2. Place your first selvedge level with the bottom edge of the vilene/wadding (remember ¼” will be absorbed by the seam allowance).

 

 

3. Place the next selvedge on top, with the sealed edge covering the raw edge of the first selvedge. Stitch close to the sealed edge.

 

 

4. Continue adding selvedges in this way until all of the vilene/wadding is covered.

 

 

5. Flip the bookmark over to reveal the original shape of the vilene/wadding. Trim away the excess selvedges.

 

 

6. Place the backing fabric right sides together with the bookmark and sew around all sides, leaving a 2” gap in the middle of the bottom edge. Trim away the corners.

 

 

7.  Turn the bookmark right sides out through the gap in the lining. Push the corners well out and press.  Press under the raw edges of the gap.

 

8. Top stitch 1/8” from the edges on all sides, closing the gap as you go.

 

 

9. Insert an eyelet at the top of the bookmark, using the manufacturer’s instructions.

 

 

10. Thread the ribbon through the eyelet and knot to secure.

 

And you’re done!

 

 

Time to curl up in a squishy sofa, with a snuggly quilt and hot chocolate, and allow a good book to take you and your imagination to far flung places!

 

Happy selvedging!

 

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FAL 2017: Meet the Host – Sew Me


By Judith on September 15, 2017
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“So, tell us a bit about yourself.”

Aren’t those fearsome words?  I get all a bit tongue tied, don’t know where to start and wonder how on earth to make myself sound even mildly interesting.  Sweat beads form, my voice wobbles a little and 20 seconds later I’ve usually run out of things to add!  But, one of things I love about meeting people in a sewing context is that already we have something in common.  I find it’s great ice breaker and conversation flows much more naturally.  So, here goes for my 2017 FAL ‘Meet The Host’ post.

Hi everyone!

I’m Sarah

 

 

and this is my family.

The handsome one and the mischief maker!

 

I’m wife to my hubby (first love and childhood sweetheart) and mum to our two children – a teenage boy, who has long since passed me in height, intelligence and wisdom too it seems (what do mothers know?) and my Cutesy Tootsie daughter who is now two years old.  Yes, big age gap, long story and no, I am not the older, wiser and more mellow mother people kindly assured me I would be during my second pregnancy.  Well, older yes, but not the other two.

We live our hectic daily routines out here in a tiny little crossroads of a place called Annahilt in Northern Ireland, where it rains a lot I’ll admit, but oh my, is it beautifully green when we are lucky enough to have sunshine to appreciate it!

I prefer tea to coffee, chocolate or cake before crisps, suburbs rather than city, white wine not beer, Buble rather than Bieber, (don’t judge).  I cannot dance but I make a great chocolate cake!  I don’t seem to choose favourites easily which makes me feel a bit odd when I can’t answer what my favourite book or movie or colour is.  Colour might be red, but a good pink is in contention too.

 

I work to feed my fabric habit!

Sadly, there is a day job – how else could I afford to keep those fabric orders coming?  I work in finance and administration from home for the company my hubby and his business partner own.  There’s a knack to working and living with your spouse. Since we haven’t strangled each other yet we must be getting the hang of it reasonably well.  Of course, I’d love to “retire” and sew all day but really, it might get dull if my WIPs actually made it from beginning to end with no 10 month lulls and 3 more projects started in the meantime, right?

Oh yes, I dream of stitching more, much more, because I love it.  Knitting needles, crochet hooks, binca and floss, cross-stitch – they have all been part of my journey with stitching and getting creative.  I look back very fondly, though with cringing embarrassment, at having tortured my Aunt every Christmas first to teach me and then to help me with my knitting.  I remember getting excited in the senior primary school classes when Friday afternoon needlework came around and, as I got older there always seemed to be some kind of needlecraft project on the go at our house.  It fell by the wayside a little when I started working and had my son, but it wasn’t too long before I was looking for some crafty outlet in my life.  I tried a few things that I thought might work for me.  Soap making, and card making were fun for a while but they weren’t quite the long-term fit I was after.  I enjoyed them but they weren’t quite “me”.

In the summer of 2010 I pulled out some fabric I’d bought 9 years earlier (!) and started making a hexagon EPP quilt (pic above).  As I stitched and stitched that summer I knew I’d found my creative, soul-feeding hobby and if that wasn’t enough of a sign, just before I went on my summer hols armed with pre-cut hexies and papers, an email dropped into my inbox telling me that my lovely friend, Judith was just about to start teaching classes.  Patchwork on a sewing machine?  Was I up for it?  Well, I’d try it and if it was a disaster I could always stick with EPP .  Fair to say, I’ve not looked back since that first night at quillow class.  My creative spark was fully alight and soon my cup and house began to overflow with fabric and spools and ribbons and I even learned a few designers names and could tell you what that fabric line was!

 

 

Discovering blogs was a MASSIVE game changer of course, because there was so much out there to learn, and generous and talented people were willing to share.  Blogging myself was another epic  moment in my stitchy life.  I joined the online community at just the right time (2010) I think, to catch a wave of flickr groups, online bees, swaps and general bloggy interaction with other people who share my passion.  It has been amazing!  And, of course the FAL is all part of that.  Sharing the journey of project finishes and having virtual cheerleaders is definitely better than sitting at home talking to a pile of UFOs alone!

Most of all, I love to make quilts.  Simple quilts, tricky quilts.  Big quilts, small quilts, mini quilts.  Machine piecing, hand-piecing, embroidery, EPP.  All have their place in singing to my heart. I enjoy bag making and crocheting and making small items too, though I need to draw myself away from the quilts to do them.  I think I have quite a broad range of tastes and likes when it comes to designs and fabrics but will admit to a particular penchant for Bonnie & Camille fabrics and colours (which I’m sure is no surprise to regular readers).

I love that when I sew I can switch off from the world for a while and just focus on what I’m doing.  I love that I can choose, depending on my mood, to sew intricate and brain-fuddling foundation pieced blocks or just simple squares and the results of each will be equally pleasing to me.  I take pleasure  that in my sewing, the creative and the intellectual come together (quilt maths, anyone?) and I adore that I have a hobby that the internet has allowed me to share and make friends through.  This is much more “me” than soaps and cards, it’s “Sew Me”.  See?

Anyway, my lovely readers and FAL friends, I hope you feel you know me a little bit better now after all that. And remember, tea or white wine when we meet, ok?

Now, I’ve kept you back from your stitching for long enough, so off you go and keep making progress towards those finishes!! I’ll be cheering you on from here.

Sarah Elwood

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Syringe Driver Bags Tutorial


By Judith on August 23, 2017
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Hi everyone!  How are you doing this week?

 

Summer seems to have left us here!  But I have some good news!  My sewing room is finished and I’m fully operational once more!

 

And what better project to christen my new creative space than sewing for a good cause.

 

 

These are Syringe Driver Bags, used by patients to keep essential medication on their person as they move around. Earlier this year we received a request from Marie Curie Cancer Care to make Syringe Driver Bags for their unit in Belfast.  The response from the sewing community was incredible, and we donated enough bags for the hospice and a local hospital cancer unit.

 

Well I’m putting out a call to all generous and creative sewers, to make more Syringe Driver Bags, this time for Macmillan Cancer Support unit in Antrim hospital.

 

I have been approached to make these bags, for current and future patients in the unit, and any bags donated over and above what is needed will be shared around the other cancer units too.

 

The bags required this time around are for adult males and females, in bright, cheery fabrics, and come in 2 sizes.  The small bag takes a single syringe driver and the large bag takes 2 drivers.  Both sizes have a velcro flap, and while the dimensions vary, the construction method is the same for each.

 

I do hope I can count on your generous spirit to support brave patients in this small way.

 

Here is the tutorial:

Measurements listed are width x height

Use 1/4″ seam allowance

Use reverse stitch to start and finish each seam

 

 

  1. Make the Handle:  Iron under 1/4″ along each long edge.

 

 

2. Now bring both long (folded) edges together and press. Top stitch 1/8″ from the edge down both long sides, starting with the open side. No need to top stitch the short ends. Put the handle to one side.

 

 

3. Make the Flap: Place the outer and lining flaps right sides together. Sew around 3 sides, leaving one short side open.

 

 

4. Carefully snip the corners at an angle (to reduce bulk) before turning right side out.  Push the corners well out and press.

 

5. Sew the soft side of the velcro to the lining side of the flap, 1/4″ away from the closed end of the flap.  Put to one side.

 

 

6. Make the main bag: Attach the remaining piece of velcro to the front bag piece. The top of the velcro should be 1.5″ down from the top edge (or 2″ for the large bag).

 

 

7. Join the front and back pieces and the sides, right sides together (as shown) stopping 1/4″ short at the bottom of each seam.

 

 

8. Join the remaining edges together to create a box (remember to stop 1/4″ short at the bottom).

 

 

9. Insert the base: Pin the base to the bottom of the outer bag, right sides together.

 

 

10. Sew the base in place, stopping 1/4″ short at each corner to pivot & turn (leave the needle down in the fabric and lift up the presser foot).  As you pivot the corners, flip the underside of the bag away from you (see below).

 

 

Stop 1/4″ short at the corner, leave needle down, lift up presser foot and turn.
While presser foot is raised, flip underside of fabric away from you. Return presser foot and continue sewing next side.

11. Turn the bag right side out. Push the corners out and press the seams into a nice box shape.

 

 

12. Machine tack the flap onto the back of the bag, right sides together.

 

 

13. Machine tack the handle onto the sides of the bag (take care not to get a twist in your handle). Put to one side.

 

 

14. Make the lining: Repeat steps 7-10 for the lining, leaving a 2″ gap in a long side seam. Do not turn right side out.

 

 

15. Insert the outer bag into the lining, tucking the flap and handle inside between the layers. Align & pin the side seams and top edge.

 

 

16. Sew around the top edge (you may find it easier to remove the accessories tray on your machine here).

 

 

17. Pull the outer bag through the gap in the lining, and hand or machine stitch the gap closed.

 

 

18. Press the bag before pushing the lining into the outer bag. Sew around the top edge again, making sure to keep the flap and handle well out of the way.

 

 

And you’re done!

 

 

It would be wonderful if you could help me with this small measure of kindness.  The 2  bags I’ve made have already brought smiles to the faces of the 2 recipients!

 

I will be the collection point for any donated bags, so please get in touch with me directly and I’ll give you my address (justjudedesigns@hotmail.co.uk)

 

Thanking you all in advance of your support and generosity.

 

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FAL 2017: Meet the Host – Charm About You


By Judith on August 9, 2017
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Hello! I am Lucy, Charm About You blogger and one of the Finish-A-Long hosts, here to share a little more about myself.

 

I come from a creative family, everyone is an artist or crafty type – whether it’s by profession or a hobby. My creativity and love of art was encouraged as I was growing up but it wasn’t until I was at university when I made my first quilt. It was really, really bad. I used the type of wadding meant for furniture, it was nearly impossible to quilt and it put me off for a long time. Fast forward and after breaking my elbow in a roller derby accident, with two small children to look after at home, I needed a safer hobby and I returned to quilting.

Eager to learn, I got some great advice and support from the two women in my family that quilt, I read lots of blogs, tutorials and quilt books and then went for it. I made simple quilts and a sampler quilt, building up my skills trying out new patterns and techniques. The addiction gripped me and the more quilts I made the more I discovered which elements I was good at, enjoyed and wanted to do more of!

I live in Manchester, UK with my husband and our three kids. They are wonderfully supportive of me and put up with the piles of fabric and works in progress that have filled the house. During the evening I love to do hand sewing, whether that be English Paper Piecing, hand piecing or quilting. It’s my time to relax and I find it really hard to sit without sewing now!

I was lucky enough to get a job at Patchfinders, a local quilt shop, where I also began teach quilting classes (and still do!). It was brilliant to be able to ‘talk fabric’ with so many people – I learnt a lot about style, colour, print etc. from being in the shop and witnessing the whole process of how people chose fabrics for their quilts. The same sort of inspiration and delightful insight into creativity comes from the people in my classes and is one of the many reasons I enjoy teaching.

Then this year I also started doing demonstrations on the Sewing Quarter shopping channel. It involves travelling to work and train journeys equal sewing time! One of my recent finishes was the Everything In It’s Place Bag, which I wanted to make to hold all the sewing ‘stuff’ I can’t live without. It feels so good having my supplies with me and there’s such a buzz that comes with using handmade.

The tangible products we create, the snuggly comfort of quilts and the fact that they are enjoyed and used is a big part of the joy of making. I am also drawn to all the possibilities of patchwork and quilting, the various techniques you can use, the choice of fabric – prints / solids / colours and all the patterns. Machine sewing is my choice for quick sews, the precision of foundation paper piecing and meditative chain piecing. More recently I have had to hone my skills at machine binding because I just don’t have the time to hand sew binding on the quilts I make for work. Hand sewing would generally be my preference for patchwork and quilting, though I really love being able to switch between the two and do machine sewing when I have that need for speed.

Having insatiably explored various patchwork and quilting methods I share tutorials and tips on my blog, from cross hatch quilting to cleaning your cutting mat;  free patterns and fun things to make.

Visit my Etsy shop for patterns like the popular Stitchy Pie needle case and my most recent A Piece of Me pouch. Later this year I will be adding quilt patterns too, all being well!

I have a ‘to sew’ list, along with a notebook of design ideas – making them into patterns is my intention and my goal for the next few months is to make time to do that. I would love for you to come and visit me at Charm About You or jump over to Instagram and follow me there, I share all my finishes and everything I’m working on.

So how is everyone getting on with their Finish-A-Long list? Any finishes checked off yet? If not, don’t fret – there’s still about 7 weeks before the link opens… just remember that time flies when you don’t stick to one project!

Hope you all have a great week!

Lucy

 

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Saying Goodbye!


By Judith on July 22, 2017
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Hello everyone, sorry about the radio silence.

 

It has been a momentous and significant few weeks here.  After 15 years raising my children in a beloved family home, we have finally had to say goodbye to our home.

 

 

It has been a difficult few years for me and my girls, and now the door to one chapter has closed.  Letting go is hard, but on 17th July we moved into our new building site home and into a new chapter.

 

There are immediate challenges in front of us, as we learn to adapt to a much smaller space in need of renovation and decoration. But in time, it will feel like home as we step into new territory, new beginnings and new opportunities.

 

Occasionally I like to write poems when I need to express deep emotion.  I hope you don’t mind me sharing one with you today:

 

“Goodbye Old Girl”

Tall and serene you have stood,

Through decades of change, trouble and peace.

Never flinching;

Loyal to your heritage.

 

It was love at first sight;

Your rustic beauty drawing us in.

A little neglected, worse for the wear

Of many noisy, boisterous families

Taking you for granted.

 

Your faithfulness to yet more change was steadfast

As we moved in and embraced your protective air.

Your return to us was ten-fold what we gave to you.

Fresh paint and paper for security and stability.

Even when we extended your boundary, you didn’t fight or resist.

Your breath moved through the space,

Affirming

Nurturing.

 

And what an experienced nurturer you are.

You have seen the best of us,

And the worst.

Watched us thrive, succeed, fail and overcome.

And still you remained

Faithful,

Unwavering,

Unconditional.

 

Like a beacon in the night,

You guided us, anchored us

So we could return to you time and again,

Comforted and calmed by your ethereal essence,

HOME.

 

These Victorian roots are resolute

In your mission to care.

To safeguard those entrusted to you,

Harboured from the elements of time and tide.

And so you will continue, long after we have gone,

Embracing the next family with your ageless arms.

For you are eternal,

Immoveable

Tenacious.

 

Our short 15 years in your presence

Will be treasured and stored.

Immortalised in pictures and memories which can never fade.

We say thank you, a thousand thank you’s,

As we empty your rooms and close your indomitable door for the final time.

We will not be sad.

To mourn is to betray you,

To deny the depths of good you bestowed in us.

 

So we say ‘Thank you old girl’.

Thank you for the life and joy and triumphs you embraced in us.

Grant us your blessing as we move on

And start afresh with a little piece of you always with us.

You will be forever in our hearts.

 

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FAL 2017: Meet the Host – Dizzy Quilts


By Judith on July 15, 2017
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Hi – I’m Izzy from Dizzy Quilts and it’s my turn to tell you a little about myself!

I’m a mother, step-mother and foster mother to six children, grand-mother to one gorgeous little girl and wife to my soul mate. During the day, I manage a team of e-Learning designers/developers at a global financial company.

All of this keeps me pretty busy, but I’ve always made time to be crafty – when I was a little girl, my mom taught me how to knit and I made all my teddy bears knitted sweaters!

During my teenage years, I was a little too busy with school (and with boys!) to craft, but a few years later, when I had my first child, I started sewing.  I made some baby clothes and I made curtains mostly. I even took a sewing class to learn how to make garments for myself, but I never got the hang of that – nothing ever really fit right.

About 9 years ago, I walked into JoAnn’s to get fabric for new curtains and spotted the cutest little quilt kits. I bought one, put it together and haven’t looked back since! I was completely and totally hooked.

The first few quilts I made were very traditional – lots of small pieces, small florals, etc. I really had no clue what I was doing, but learned so much with the making of these quilts.

A lap size log cabin quilt made for my step-mom

I started making these quilts for pretty much everyone in my family.  And pretty soon, every bed in the house had a quilt on it.

Quilt I made for my sister-in-law – this is Bronx testing it.

 

I even made quilts as curtains!!

Around 2010, I discovered quilt blogs and the online quilting community.  That literally changed my quilting life!!  I started my own blog, met some amazing people and a couple of years later, found the Montreal Modern Quilt Guild.

Through the members of this guild, I learned about modern quilting and I fell in love with quilting all over again.

I started making modern quilts and building a stash of really colourful fabrics and solid neutrals.

 

When I first started quilting, my least favourite part of the whole thing was the actual quilting. My sewing machine was pretty small and wrestling with a big quilt in that tiny little space was painful and I very often ended up with puckers on the back of my quilts.  And then I changed two things: my sewing machine and my basting method.

I purchased my Juki TL-2010Q. It is literally a dream to quilt with. Lots of room to the right of the needle and super consistent, fast stitching.

I also learned how to board baste my quilts – which has saved my knees, my back and to a certain extent, my sanity!  🙂

And now quilting is actually my favourite part. I look forward to finishing a top just so I can get to the quilting. My dream is to some day own a long-arm machine, but I would need to get a much bigger house before that could happen!

 

Last year, I became the Vice-President of the Montreal MQG and that has been a lot of fun. The group is growing and we have such amazing people and quilters.  Each meeting is a great source of inspiration and I’m learning so much.

When I was approached to become a FAL host last year, I was so flattered and so happy. I love hosting these link-ups – so much inspiration and so much talent every quarter.

Thanks for reading and if you have questions, please leave a comment!  🙂

Izzy

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Liberty Summer Tunic


By Judith on June 26, 2017
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Hi everyone, how was your weekend?

 

It was a jubilant weekend in the Hollies’ house, with my eldest daughter home for the weekend, and as we celebrated mine and my youngest daughter’s birthday!

 

Sweet 16 – The birthday girl on the left!
Fooling around with my Mum, sister and 3 daughters!

 

What a fun time we had with our crazy family!

 

Sadly the sun wasn’t around much over the weekend, but I did manage a wee photo shoot last week when the sun was out.

 

Liberty Summer Tunic

 

This is my Liberty summer tunic.  Approx. 6 years ago I found some yardage of liberty cotton in a vintage shop.  It was so reasonably priced I snapped it up!

 

Then in April 2015 I made a basic tunic with it, using a New Look pattern 6068. I wasn’t so happy with the fit and finish of it back then, so parked it (for several years!).

 

 

The recent glorious sunny weather recently motivated me to unearth the tunic, fix the fit and add some finishing touches.

 

Liberty Summer Tunic

 

The simple additions of vintage lacey trim and patch pockets have transformed the tunic, and now I totally love it!

 

Liberty Summer Tunic

 

It has been a joy to wear it recently, and I’m pleased to report it has withstood the washing machine too!

 

Liberty Summer Tunic

 

I would love to make more of these simple tunics, but my sewing room is all packed up and won’t be unpacked until August!  Let’s hope the sun is still shining then!

 

Liberty Summer Tunic

 

Happy sewing!

 

 

 

 

 

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Ebb and Flow Quilt


By Judith on June 21, 2017
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Happy Wednesday everyone!

 

The gorgeous weather continues here!  Such a treat!

 

When I make a quilt I always photograph it before I send it off to the magazine.   However, doing commission work at least one season ahead means the weather and season at time of photographing doesn’t match the theme of the quilt!

 

Ebb & Flow quilt (Popular Patchwork July17)
Finished quilt 64″ x 76″

 

Take for example my Ebb and Flow quilt!  This is the photograph I took of it on completion in April.  Drab and dreary right?

 

 

And ironic too because the fabrics used in this quilt are called ‘Blue Sky’ by Laundry Basket Quilts (background is Linen Texture, both by Makower). Oh how I wish there were blue skies when I photographed this quilt!

 

Ebb & Flow Quilt (Popular Patchwork July17)

 

I went for simple mitred piecing in columns to give a contemporary twist to these classic prints.

 

Ebb & Flow quilt (Popular Patchwork July17)

 

I knew there had to be organic wavy quilting vertically through the columns to enhance the ‘ebb and flow’ movement in the quilt. Aurifil 50wt is my ‘go to’ thread for quilting.

 

Ebb & Flow quilt (Popular Patchwork July17)

 

So there you have my blue sky Ebb and Flow summer quilt, fulfilling the Editor’s brief of soft summer blues with an organic design. The pattern is in the July issue of Popular Patchwork, out now.

 

May the wonderful weather continue!

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Denim Maker’s Tote


By Judith on June 18, 2017
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Hi everyone!

 

It’s getting pretty hot around here!

 

As I enjoy the wide open windows and the washing on the line, I’m also progressing well with packing up ready for moving house at the end of this month.  A small challenge when there’s 15 years worth of ‘stuff’ to thin out ready for our down-size!

 

I have also packed up my sewing room, but not before I got a class sample finished for classes in the new term.

 

Denim Maker's Tote (large)

 

I’m a great admirer of Anna’s fabulous bag designs and patterns, and her Maker’s Tote is a particular favourite of mine.  I’ve had it bookmarked for a while, but am only now getting around to making it!

 

Denim Maker's Tote (large)

 

I thought this would be a good bag pattern to teach in class because of the variety of bag construction elements and skills involved.

 

But of course I couldn’t just stick to the pattern, could I!

 

I love using denim for bags, it makes them more durable and useable in my view.  And besides, I already had 2 ‘uneven brick’ panels sewn together for another project long forgotten!  They were the perfect size, so I got to *quilting them, first in the ditches, and then some feature quilting using Aurifil 12wt wool thread.

 

*the original pattern uses a foam interfacing like Bosal to give structure and reinforcement to the bag.  I wasn’t able to get any in time, so substituted with a layer of wadding and heavy weight sew-in vilene spray basted together.

 

I used a size 100 Jeans needle for the quilting and construction

 

 

The front and back of my bag are slightly different.  I didn’t think the prescribed front pocket would work on my version of this bag, but I did include the zippered back pocket.

 

Denim Maker's Tote (large)

 

One of the joys of working with recycled denim is thinking of ways to use the loops, tabs and unusual features attached to a pair of jeans.

 

Self-covered button with vintage chintz

 

 

I decided my Maker’s Tote could be used as my everyday bag, not just a class sample, so I incorporated another one of my favourite textiles, vintage chintz linen.

 

Denim Maker's Tote (large)

 

A few vintage style Lecien prints coordinated beautifully for the internal pockets and facings.

 

Denim Maker's Tote (large)

 

The handles are made from a re-purposed denim belt, reinforced with webbing and lined with more of the chintz linen.

 

Denim Maker's Tote (large)

 

The belt was a little on the wide side, so by cinching in the edges along the top section, they are now the perfect fit for my hands and have lovely structure too!

 

Denim Maker's Tote (large)

 

The bag is finished off with self-made bias binding, another great skill to have under your belt.  If you follow me on Instagram, you will know that the first lot of bias binding I made is different to the one on the finished bag!

 

 

I decided I didn’t like choice no.1 (after I had attached it!). In my opinion the chintz linen binding works much better, even though it was a little trickier to attach.

 

So there we have my version of Noodlehead’s Maker’s Tote!  A fabulously roomy bag, gorgeous shape, and versatile elements.

 

And I’ll leave you with an ‘out take’ of the ‘helper’ on my photo-shoot!

 

Denim Maker's Tote (large)

 

Linking up to Nicky & Leanne’s Scraptastic Tuesday!

 

Happy Sewing!

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FAL 2017: Meet the Host – Marci Girl Designs


By Judith on June 15, 2017
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Hello!  My name is Marci Debetaz and I blog over at Marci Girl Designs and this month it is my turn to share all about myself as one of the 2017 Global Finish-A-Long hosts.  So here it goes…

Here I am, 4′ 11.5″ tall, so yeah I’m short and this photo was taken a little over a year ago but I mostly look the same, or at least I like to think so.  I am currently 36 years old in case any of you were wondering because I know I have somewhat of a baby face.  I was born in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, USA but have lived most of my life now in Louisiana.  My family moved a lot when I was growing up, back and forth between Florida and Louisiana to finally settle in Louisiana much to my disliking, because honestly who wants to leave the beach for swampland?  Not me.  Anyways I went to Middle and High School in New Iberia, Louisiana and then attended College in Lafayette, Louisiana (about a 40 minute drive.)  I met my husband in my second year of College, we both were majoring in Industrial Design and we fell in love.  (Oh so sweet!)  So we dated a few years, got engaged and then married all before we finished College.  We graduated College together a semester after the wedding, both with degrees in Industrial Design.  We found jobs, worked, you know, regular married life and then a few years later we bought our first house.
Here is our MAJOR fixer upper 13 years ago when we bought it (though this photo was taken after some serious cleaning up of the yard.)
 Here is our home today, and what you can’t see on the back corner of this house is the major addition we are adding and have been working on since February of this year, doing ALL of the work ourselves.  We are hoping to be finished by Christmas, but who knows,  fingers crossed.  I had to mention our house because it has been a major focus of all my free time this year, which stinks because I miss sewing and quilting but will totally be worth it when we are done.
 
Ok, I got off track.  So after we bought our house we had three kids, two boys, 9 and 5 and our little girl who just turned 2.  I don’t post about them directly on social media for their privacy but I promise they are super cute.  It was after my first child was born that I really picked up the sewing/quilting bug again.  I say “again” because I grew up sewing and quilting.  My mom did both and taught me.  I started by making Barbie doll clothing, then that turned into small quilts and sewing my own clothes through High School.  Then when I was in College (and falling in love) I didn’t have much time for those hobbies and they fell by the wayside.  After my first was born I became a stay at home mom and discovered I had lots of free time during naps.  Thus my hobbies began anew!
 
 
I started up my hobby again making handbags and pouches which I quickly realized I had way too many handbags and pouches, so I opened up an Etsy shop.  I had my shop open for a few years until I closed it at the end of 2011 right before my second son was born.  I always had intentions of opening again after his birth but alas it never happened.  I do hope to one day open up my shop but for now I am enjoying sewing for my family and friends.

 

It wasn’t long after I started sewing again that I discovered the world of blogs and designer fabric.  Let’s just say that was a total game changer for me and the true obsession began.  I decided to start my own blog in February of 2010 and have been doing so on and off ever since.  I use my blog as a form of diary or portfolio of things I have made through the years and though I find the writing difficult I am glad that I push myself to do so because it is so nice to go back and read about my own projects, many of which I have already forgotten about.
 I love participating in Quilt and Sew Alongs and the occasional competition (for fun, I don’t want to stress about it.)  The above quilt was created for the Emerald Pantone Quilt Challenge (I can’t remember the year.)  It currently hangs in my bedroom.  This quilt is my original design and entitled, “Emerald Cut.”
I will still occasionally make handbags and pouches, I design my own patterns plus make them from independent pattern designers.  The pouch above is one of my designs.
I make way more quilt tops than finished quilts, sadly I have a huge WIP pile.  The photos above and below are examples of two of these quilt tops awaiting quilting.  The top is a One Block Wonder quilt created from just one large scaled print fabric. The quilt below is another Pantone Quilt Challenge, the color that year was Radiant Orchid, this quilt is also my own design.  It is one of my personal favorites.
In 2014 I was chosen to be a contestant in an online sewing challenge called “Sewvivor.”  The bag below was my entry for the very first round, which was nautically themed.  Though I didn’t make it past the first round, I made a great new set of online sewing friends and had a ton of fun in the process.
Within the first year or so of blogging I also found Flickr and through Flickr I found out about online Quilting Bee’s.  I quickly joined several and have never looked back.  I made friends in those first groups, that I still have today and we are still sewing bee blocks for each other.  Though Flickr isn’t as predominant these days, things have shifted over to Instagram and the fun continues.  A few years ago most of my quilting bees were coming to a finish and two of my fellow bee mates decided to create a new hand picked group that they named Bee Sewcial.  The concept of the group is that we stay connected and in touch, use only solids and work in improv.  This is our third year together and honestly one of my favorite things to do every month.  The creativity involved and the friendship is just so fantastic.  At the end of our first year together we opened up the sewing prompts to everyone interested and anyone can now sew along with us using the hashtag #inspiredbybeesewcial.
 I guess that about sums of my life.  Stay at home mom to three, in between running the kids to school and nap times I sew and quilt.  I have tried crochet, knitting, tatting, beading and about every other craft you can think of but in the end I always return to sewing and quilting.  I love improv but I also love traditional quilt blocks.  I love to sew clothes, handbags and pouches.  Don’t ask me to alter your clothes or to iron like normal people.  It isn’t going to happen.  I have a huge pile of WIP’s and have been participating in the Finish-A-Long since its inception.  I was thrilled to be asked to host this year and I have been slowly working through that pile.  I do so hope you join us this year!
 
I’ll end my post
reminding everyone that in 10 days the second quarter finishes link up
opens, you still have time to finish those projects so get to work!
Thank you for joining me today, Marci

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FAL 2017 Meet the Host: Just Jude Designs


By Judith on May 15, 2017
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Hi everyone, my name is Judith of Just Jude Designs and it’s my turn this month to tell you a little about myself as one of the 2017 Finish-A-Long hosts.

 

 

I was born in Northern Ireland, and apart from 7 years living in England, I have lived here all my life. I currently live 5 minutes away from where the famous RMS Titanic was built in Belfast 1911.

 

 

I started sewing when I inherited my Nanny Maud’s singer treadle sewing machine at the age of 11.  I had already been crocheting clothes for my dolls from the age of 9, but now I could sew them blankets too!

 

 

When I started high school (11) I took Needlework.  On my first day, I walked into the Needlework room and saw it was filled with electric sewing machines, but tucked away in the corner was a Singer Treadle machine!  I pleaded with the teacher to let me use it, and then spent the next 3 years making garments on it!  The start of my happy place!

 

 

I continued sewing on my Singer Treadle, teaching myself naive patchwork from recycled clothes, curtains and scraps.  (I still love working with recycled textiles today!) I made my first little quilt, a pram quilt, when I was pregnant with my first daughter (1995).

 

 

2 days before my 3rd daughter was born, I turned 30, and my family bought me my first electric sewing machine.  I’d been sewing for 20 years and had never used an electric machine!  I fell in love with my Brother machine, and then upgraded to a Pfaff Quilt Expression a few years later, which I still use today.

 

 

When my youngest daughter started school, I went ‘back to school’ myself, studying City & Guilds Textile and Design.  I thought it was time I learned how to sew and quilt properly!  My motivation for taking this 2 year course was therapeutic, a kind of ‘play therapy’, recommended by my counsellor to overcome depression.  It worked!

 

 

I finished and passed my course and was invited to teach patchwork to a group of women with mental health issues at a local community centre.   I didn’t even know how to teach patchwork, but I overcame my nerves and quickly started on a new passion for teaching and inspiring others to love patchwork too.

 

 

For 2 years I taught women suffering from a wide range of mental health problems and saw first hand the therapeutic benefits they experienced after only a few short weeks of sewing.  One lady in particular, old before her time, stooped with low self worth and heavily reliant on a walking stick, made her first patchwork cushion and within 6 weeks was coming to class without her stick and walking tall!!  Like many others, learning a new skill within a caring community, and having something to show and be proud of, elevated her self-esteem and ignited hope and positivity in many areas of her life.

 

 

Over the past 10 years I have continued teaching in different venues, running my own programme of classes and also teaching for others. I also design quilts, cushions and bags for a number of UK based quilting magazines, and sell my patterns via my website, Etsy and Craftsy.

 

 

As a sole trader it is important for me to connect with other creatives, both professionally and personally.  Being part of the quilting blogging community for the past 6 and a half years has been a hugely positive and affirming experience for me, and it has been my privilege to be a part of many bees, swaps and charity groups.

 

Brit Bee 2012

If you have made it this far, thank you! Thank you for taking the time to read this and being part of Finish-A-Long 2017.

 

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FAL 2017 Meet The Host: Sew of Course


By Judith on May 8, 2017
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This month in FAL we get to hear from 2 hosts.  The first is from Sandra of Sew of Course.

“The 2017 Finishalong has a global team of hosts, and one by one they are introducing themselves in the “Meet the Host” posts throughout the year.

Now I am NOT a Finishalong host, but I have the honour (!) of being the person behind the Finishalong Instagram and Facebook accounts (Social Media Director). And in that role I have been asked to introduce myself, too.

If you are here for the first time, you are very welcome!

Who am I?

I was born and raised in The Netherlands. And before you think, “tulips, clogs, and windmills” that is not quite how it is living there. I never lived in a windmill, for one, though I lived in many places!

However, I did cycle every day to school at the other end of town – yes, everyone does cycle in The Netherlands! As a student I even went on a cycling/camping holiday to England with friends.

 

And I did not wear clogs… until I started doing a lot of
gardening in our first proper “adult” house in Kent (UK). They do take
some getting used to, but are perfectly warm and dry, and so easy to
slip in and out of!

 

I also LOVE cheese, any cheese! And nowhere can you find such a wide selection of cheese as in The Netherlands, I think.

I studied at the Agricultural University in Wageningen, and thoroughly enjoyed living in this small university town. I spent a half year doing my internship in New Zealand, and eventually ended up with a MSc degree, and a future husband just months before he finished his studies and left to do a PhD abroad.

And so started my international life… Following my heart, and his work opportunities, we lived in many countries for relatively short periods of time. From three months to five years in one place, we lived in many different countries, in between coming back in The Netherlands for a while as well. And now we have ended up in Ireland, and have lived in this house longer than anywhere I have ever lived…

 

my first quilt, completely hand stitched

 

Growing up, I was often crafting, learning crochet and dress making from my mother, knitting from a neighbour, and many other crafts from magazines and books.
In England I came across my first patchwork quilt, and from then on I needed to learn how to make them. Beginner’s classes started me of with drafting blocks, making templates and hand sewing (no rulers and rotary cutters at first!), followed by more classes, workshops, books and magazines, always wanting to learn more. A visit to a quilt exhibition has me peering closely at the way certain effects have been achieved, even now, so many years later. I just LOVE to learn new things!

 

Moving so often, quilt making also gave me an opportunity to find new people and make friends wherever I went. In some places it took a while to find out about them, but always I did find some group or other of friendly and welcoming quilters. And soon enough I was teaching quilt making, too.

 

Then in 2012, I started a City & Guilds Level 3 Certificate course, and as part of that we set up a (private) blog to share notes and work between us students. Which led me to start reading blogs, and starting my own blog soon after. Since I have a compulsion to stitch and sew (I sew, of course!), and fill the blog with my creative works, its inspiration and anything that takes my fancy, I named it Studio Sew of Course, and followed by being “sewofcourse” for all social media. I am very active especially on Instagram, but can be found elsewhere as well if you are so inclined.

Of course, I learned so much again in the course! The range of techniques covered in City & Guilds is enormous, and the design process poses challenges of its own. The course includes many, many samples and small projects, as well as five main items to be made, see my City & Guilds page for some of it.
Since the course my way of quilt making has changed, too. I have always been easily tempted to try something new, but now I’d try anything. And of course I made the most wonderful friends!!

 

In all those years I mainly hand quilted my quilts, not having a lot of confidence to use my domestic machine for quilting. This has led to a rather large number of half-quilted quilts, and unquilted quilt tops! Then I discovered the Finishalong a couple of years ago, and joining in has helped me to reduce the number of WIPs to a more acceptable amount. I also got a lot of practice in machine quilting as part of the City & Guilds course, so my confidence has grown somewhat. Now I have to just put it into practice some more… and remember to quilt with a less stops and starts – I hate tying in a million threads! I may be finishing some of my projects a bit quicker.

 

 

 

What’s next?

My current Finishalong list contains some rather varied projects, and is not in danger of being finished very soon. Besides, there are more projects in the house that haven’t even made it on the list (yet). I can see my list grow longer before it will get any smaller!

I still teach a weekly quilt group in our local library, and we hold a yearly exhibition of our work there, too.
I am also working on another pattern or two (my few available patterns can be found on the Patterns page), I have plans to improve and extend the blog/website, and ideas for several quilts are being turned over in my head…

Besides that, I have a part-time job, and we have three boys, and a large (and rather unconventional) garden:

 

And I love going on walks and taking photographs:

 

 

One thing is for sure: I won’t be bored for a long time yet!!”

Sandra
I hope you can call back on the 15th when ‘yours truly’ will be the featured host.

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Chevron Heaven Quilt


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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

Chevron Heaven Quilt (Popular Patchwork April17)

 

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

 

 

Chevron Heaven Quilt (Popular Patchwork April17)

 

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

 

Chevron Heaven Quilt (Popular Patchwork April17)

 

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

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

Happy sewing!

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Meet The Maker: Quilting Prolifically


By Judith on April 4, 2017
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Welcome everyone!  And happy April to you all!

 

We have had a sunny start to the new month – doesn’t the sunshine make everything seem much better!

 

 

Well a new month means a new ‘Meet the Maker’ interview, and it is my delight to introduce you to a very special lady!

 

 

This is Trudi, aka Quilting Prolifically.  Trudi is a fellow Brit Bee member and an astoundingly talented long arm quilter.  She is known for her ‘feather’ work, which are all ‘free hand’ quilted.  Enjoy!

 

  1. Introduction: Who are you? Where do you live? Where do you blog?

 

Hi, I’m Trudi, I live in Lincolnshire and quilt in a very posh shed at the bottom of my garden.  I can be found at my very neglected blog Quilting Prolifically and more visibly on Intagram as @trudi­­_wood

 

 

2. What is your craft/s? When did you start? Who/what inspired you to get started?

 

I am a professional Longarm quilter, designer and patchwork and quilting teacher.   I learned to sew when I was about six from my mum, piecing scraps from her basket into clothes for my dolls.  My mum taught me to make my own clothes, and so for many years I was a dress maker, making my own clothes and bridesmaids dresses and ball gowns for others.  I was introduced to quilting by a colleague when I was working in Belgium.  They gave me a catalogue for an American quilting shop, and my eyes were opened to so many more possibilities.   This was back in the day when machine quilting was regarded as a dirty word and cheating, so I hand quilted all my quilts because that’s what everyone did.  There came a point when there were more tops than I could ever dream of hand quilting in a traditional way, so I taught myself to free motion quilt on my very old domestic machine that didn’t even drop the feed dogs.  In 2007 I bought a table top frame and soon learnt my Bernina was not up to the job so added a Juki 98P and learned how to quilt on a frame.  In 2014 My Innova Long arm arrived and I love it!  Last year I took the leap and left my day job and now quilt full time.  I’ve also been teaching Patchwork and quilting, free motion quilting, and designing quilt patterns for magazine commissions.

 

 

3. What do you most enjoy about your craft? Where do you find your inspiration? Who inspires you?

 

I love the creativity, I have always created, loved colour, and sewing,  so to be able to inspire others, help people see more than they thought about for quilting and to work on so many different quilts is a real joy.    Inspiration can strike from almost anywhere,  from the fabric itself, the design of the quilt or even the purpose of the quilt.  I love my customers to be involved in the process as much as possible, as they will usually have a good strong idea and starting point .    I have my feet firmly set in the traditional field from the word go, inspired by UK quilters like Barbara Chainey  and Amy Emms, US quilters like Daine Gaudinski and Karen McTavish.   I do love to mix in the traditional with a more modern feel to the quilting.

 

 

4. Why did you start a blog? What do enjoy most about blogging? Do you see a future in blogging with the rise of other social mediums?

 

I started reading blogs back in 2008/09,  and just figured, you know what, I could do that!  I set up a blog and posted wondering who would read it, and people did.  I was quite shocked.  My blog has been neglected over the last year or two, as the time required to dedicate to it became more than I could muster, and Instagram seemed so much easier with the demise of Flickr also.  Its quick, its a snapshot of time.  Its a really great community.  Yes I’d love to get back into some regular blogging, because I still think there is a place for it.  Sometimes there is so much more to that snap in time than a few words can express, quilts have stories, and its always worth recording those stories and sharing with other.  You never know who you might inspire.

 

 

5. What are your creative goals for 2017? Are there new things you would like to try; projects you would like to get finished; competitions to enter etc.?

 

I strive to grow creatively each year, and this year is no different, my words for this year are to Shine and Adventure, so to use those as inspiration for the work I do makes a great focus.  I really want to get back to the traditional patterns and see what I could bring to them with a modern slant using today’s quilting techniques.   I have so many ideas in my head, I need to get them into my notebook and pick just one for the Festival of Quilts.

 

 

6. If a fairy godmother could grant you one creative wish, what would it be?

 

Oh that would be easy, more time!  Time to create, time to play, time to just see where ideas take me.  To be able to do all that and still work a full week with time for a weekend would be just grand.

 

Isn’t Trudi’s quilting amazing!  Hard not to be inspired under her tutelage.

 

I hope you have enjoyed reading about this month’s Maker!

 

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Finish-A-Long’17: Q2 Open!


By Judith on April 2, 2017
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As one quarter closes (well done everyone on your amazing finishes) another one opens.
It’s time to link up your list of unfinished projects that you propose to finish in Q2 of the FAL. I truly hope you are facing a new quarter with a brand new list – because you finished so many UFOs in Q1!
The FAL is hosted by a community of bloggers across the world. Our hosts are:
  • Sarah – Sew me – Northern Ireland

Social Media Director

 

For those of you who are new to the FAL, it is a place to find motivation and encouragement to complete those unfinished projects that are hanging about becoming UFOs. Every quarter you post a list of projects you hope to finish in the next three months, and then at the end of the quarter, you post a link from your blog, Flickr or Instagram of each successful finish from your original list.

 

Each finish is an entry for wonderful prizes from our sponsors.

 

There is no penalty for not finishing a listed project, so feel free to make your list long or short, as you wish.

 

The 2017 Schedule and Rules for the FAL are on my permanent FAL page, let me know if you have any questions.

 

Here are the fantastic and generous sponsors for Q2 of the FAL – you can see each of their prizes listed under their logo (think about visiting them and saying thank you):

 


As you may recall from last year, there was a return of tutorial week at the end of each quarter, between the opening of the link for finishes and the day that link closes. Are you enjoying this? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below! This will take place each quarter. Each host works hard to put these together so I hope you are visiting their blogs to encourage them.
If you have a tutorial that you would like to share, please let me or another host know.

 

It’s time to round up those projects you want to finish over the next three months, take a photo of each one and make your list. Please ensure that you have at least started your projects – pulled fabric with a pattern is now considered a UFO, and remember it is only finished projects that will get you an entry toward the above listed prizes. So while we love to see your bee blocks, the “finish” is when they are a completed, usable project.

 

It is very helpful if you tag your list as #2017FALQ2yourname when posting on social media: Flickr, Facebook & Instagram. Using the same hashtag over the quarter when sharing progress or finishes before the link, helps the hosts find your original list quickly – especially when this is done over a 3 month period. IMPORTANT: Don’t forget to link your finishes up when the quarter closes.

 

The 2017 Q2 link for your list of proposed finishes is now open below on my blog and on each of the hosting blogs. You need only link your list once, on one blog – and that link will show up on all of the blogs.

If you are using Facebook, Flickr or Instagram, link a mosaic and put your list in the description. Katy of The Littlest Thistle has a great tutorial on how to link-up if you need it.

 

We also ask that you become part of the FAL community. Please check out the links of others – visit and comment on their lists. We all need encouragement to get those finishes done, so please share some of your own too.

 

When creating your list there is one thing to remember….No deductions for not completing something so ….. Aim High! Nothing to lose!!!

 

Well Now….. Get those lists together and get linked up.

 

The Q2 proposed finish linky party will stay open until 11 pm EST, April 8, 2017- as we are global, you might want to check your time zone to determine your last possible time to link. Remember: you only need to link up on ONE hosting blog and it will automatically show up on all hosting blogs.

 


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Feedback Survey Results


By Judith on January 4, 2017
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As part of my 6 year blogiversary giveaway in December, I asked you to complete a simple survey about what your struggles are in quilting and what you would most like available to help.

 

 

The first 2 questions were

What are your biggest struggles when it comes to Patchwork and Quilting?

 

and

 

What are your biggest struggles when following/using patterns?

 

But we’ll get to those in a minute!

 

Let’s jump first to the graded questions, where you gave a value of 0-5 for each answer (0 = not interested 5 = very interested). You can get a refresher on the 7 questions here.

[visualizer id=”46935″]

 

You can see from the pie chart that the highest scoring question was “Patterns with lots of photos and well explained steps”!

 

Your frustrations with poorly worded and illustrated patterns came through loud and clear, and you further backed this up with your ‘suggestions’ comments.

 

As a pattern writer this is a topic close to my heart, not only through my own struggles in following patterns, but also as a Quilting tutor, seeing first hand how much even experienced learners can feel defeated by a pattern.

 

But you can see through the close percentages that ‘up there’ among your top interests are informative and topical articles and discussions (16.9%) and a ‘Sewing Surgery’ where you can ask questions and engage with a community of like minded sewists (15.7%).

 

On the latter, you are most welcome to join my ‘Sewing Surgery’ Facebook group.  

 

 

Here we can ask for help, talk about swaps, sales, events, ‘show and tell’ and more!  And a growing membership means a wider community with a wealth of shared knowledge, experience and inspiration to draw from.

 

I know how important ‘community’ is to creatives. It’s affirming, healing and uplifting when we can share a little of ourselves and connect through what we make. But if you aren’t on Facebook, please feel free to leave me a comment, use my contact form, or chat to me on Instagram.

 

Now back to the first set of questions.  Your answers were wide and varied, and in addition to ‘any other comments’ I’ve grouped your feedback into 5 main categories: Patterns, Fabrics, Cutting, Techniques, Personal.

[visualizer id=”46947″]

As I mentioned previously, your concerns around using ‘Patterns’ was the front runner. From ‘patterns making assumptions’ to ‘not understanding jargon/abbreviations’. But once again, the complaint that surfaced more than any others was ‘insufficient pictures and diagrams’.

 

‘Techniques’ covered issues such as accurate seams & matching points, fixing common errors, basting, sewing curves, maths, scaling patterns up and down, machine quilting and free motion quilting, paper piecing & inserting zips.

 

In the ‘Fabrics’ category, the most common struggle was putting fabrics and colours together for projects.

 

Under ‘Personal’ I included feedback about your lack of time to sew, self doubt and lack of confidence, narrowing down ideas, working in a small space & fear of your sewing machine!

 

Last but not least, we have the ‘Cutting’ department – how to cut accurately, how to gain the best yield from the fabric, squaring half square triangles and corners, cutting angles, making accurate templates among others!

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to give me your informative and honest feedback.  I will be using these results to shape what I deliver through my website and how best to serve you.

(And if you would like to have your say, complete the quick survey here).

 

One thing I know in reading your responses, is that you aren’t alone in your struggles. We all have struggles in one area or another, even experienced sewists! So let’s try and help each other make this year a positive creative experience!

Keeping sewing!

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Shape Sorter Street Quilt


By Judith on March 15, 2016
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Popular Patchwork asked me to design a ‘houses’ quilt!

Quite a few wonderful houses quilts have already been designed over the years so it was a tough challenge to come up with something ‘original’!

But the creative juices started flowing and I came up with this:

Shape Sorter Street Quilt / Popular Patchwork (April'16)
65″ x 64″

I knew I wanted a modern, simple design, and as I started thinking of bringing in porthole shapes to the houses, they reminded me of the wooden shape sorter toy that my kids used to play with when they were small!

And so ‘Shape Sorter Street’ was born.
Shape Sorter Street Quilt / Popular Patchwork (April'16)
It was a lot of fun to make, matching up the shape of the trees with their corresponding houses!
Shape Sorter Street Quilt / Popular Patchwork (April'16)

Apologies for the poor indoor pics! It was a dreadfully dull day when I finished this quilt.  When I get the quilt back from Popular Patchwork I’ll take some better, outdoor pics!
The April issue of Popular Patchwork is out now!
Shape Sorter Street Quilt / Popular Patchwork (April'16)

 
Jude xo

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Hoooked Zpagetti!


By Judith on February 24, 2016
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Today I get to tell you about something totally cool!

This is Hoooked Zpagetti (not a spelling mistake!).  This stuff is made from ……. T-shirts! How cool is that!

And if you’re wondering what on earth can you knit or crochet with it, just take a look at this for inspiration!

Hoooked Zpagetti Yarn - Fabric Yard
Source – Pinterest

And there’s more!

 

This is Hoooked Ribbon, made from ………….. recycled yarn!!  Super duper cool!
If you love recycling as much as me, and also enjoy crochet and knitting, then check out all the wonderful Hoooked Yarns over at Fabric Yard!
And to tempt you even further, Fabric Yard are having a Spring Sale!
You’ve got until 1st March to bag yourself a bargain!  And remember, only £1 shipping on all UK orders.
Happy Shopping!
Jude xo

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Spring Walk!


By Judith on February 13, 2016
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Spring Walk
This is Spring Walk by Sarah Betz/Little Cube. Aren’t they gorgeous!  I particularly love the cute umbrellas and swans!
I’ll be working on these this weekend for a magazine commission.
There was plenty of the wet stuff about today, but isn’t it lovely to see spring winning out!
Spring Drops

And walking of a different kind happened yesterday!
I took my family to Gaol!!
We have long been wanting to visit the historic and Victorian Crumlin Road Gaol in Belfast.
An informative and engaging tour, and well worth a visit.  
But don’t worry, they let you out again!!
Have a great weekend!
Jude xo

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Back to it!


By Judith on February 9, 2016
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On Saturday I returned to Bee Blessed, after a 7 month break!

It was wonderful sewing with old and new friends again, and seeing all the wonderful in-progress quilts.

This month we are working on reverse churn dash blocks, to compliment last month’s churn dashes.

I got these 3 made, and there’s a lovely collection of others growing too.

Reverse Churn Dash blocks for Bee Blessed

We would love it if you could make us a block or two. You can find the tutorial here, and check out more wonderful pics of donated quilts and blocks on the Bee Blessed blog.

Jude xo

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Cushion Love!


By Judith on February 6, 2016
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Continuing the ‘Love’ theme this month, here are the 2 cushions I submitted for publication:

Quilt Now (Feb issue):

My DP Heart Cushion in Feb16 Quilt Now

Similar to my ‘Drunken Hearts’ quilt, this cushion is made using drunken path units to form the curved tops of the heart (Katy the editor named it ‘Dunk Your Heart’ because it reminded her of Jammie Dodger biscuits!).

I chose the sweetest red Lecien 30’s Fabric Collection with Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in Flax for the background.

DP Heart Cushion in Feb16 Quilt Now

Frumble sell a wonderful range of pom pom trim and I couldn’t resist going for giant red pom poms to finish off this round cushion.

Sewing World (Feb issue):

Chenille Heart Cushion Feb16 Sewing World

This is my Chenille Heart Cushion, with a positive and negative front and back.

Chenille

Chenille is a ‘layering and slashing’ technique, creating raw edges which turn fluffy when washed. It’s a wonderfully tactile finish, perfect for a snuggly cushion don’t you think!

Chenille class sample
So if you are looking for a valentines gift idea for that someone special, grab yourself one of these magazines and get cracking!  You’ve still got time!
Jude xo

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Feeling the Love!


By Judith on February 2, 2016
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February is the month of Luuuurrrrrvvvv! (so I’m told!)

So I submitted a few ‘heart related’ projects to magazines!

Drunken Hearts Quilt - Sewing World Feb16
This is my ‘Drunken Hearts’ quilt in British Patchwork & Quilting (Feb), so called because I used ‘drunkards path’ units to make the heart blocks. 
I have to say I ‘fell in love’ with this quilt as I was making it, and can’t wait to get it back from the magazine. 
I used Art Gallery’s ‘Bijou’ and ‘Dreaming in French’ for the hearts and Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in Black for the background.
My sweet Trudi did a beautiful job quilting this for me on her long arm machine (you can just about see the hearts quilting pattern).
Tune in again for another ‘Luuuuurrrrrvvvvv’ installment!
Jude xo

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Leaping Into February!


By Judith on February 1, 2016
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How wonderful to leave January!

Storm ‘Henry’ decided to usher in February here, very kindly sending the contents of my recycling bin up and down the length of my street!!

On a happier note, it’s nice to see at a glance my makes & bee blocks for January.

Jan16 Roundup

Technically, not everything here was made in January, but if they are published in January then I’ve decided to include them! The usual clues are in there for future reveals.

Bee Blocks Jan16
L-R: Brit Bee; Siblings Together Bee 2; Bee Blessed

It was a good month for bee blocks too.

So what will February bring?  2 family birthdays, a trip to prison (!!), guests and lots more running and sewing!

Another regular month then!!

Stay safe!

Jude xo

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Giveaway Winner!


By Judith on January 29, 2016
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Thank you to everyone who entered my blogiversary giveaway!

(If you didn’t receive a reply to your entry comment, it means you are a ‘no reply comment’ blogger & therefore I had no way of getting in contact with you.)

Somewhere along the line I lost a year!  I’ve actually been blogging for 5 years and not 4!!!  Talk about feeling old!!
Anyway, onto the winner!
Mr Random Number Generator picked no. 27, who is my amazingly talented bloggy friend Josie!!
Congrats J!  I hope you enjoy your winnings!
So tomorrow I’m doing another round of Couch to 5K training, even though snow is forecast!  Let’s hope I don’t resemble an out of breath Yeti by the end of it!!
Have a great weekend!
Jude xo

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12 Hens-A-Laying!


By Judith on January 27, 2016
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To enter my giveaway until Friday 29th January, click here.

*************************

Don’t worry!  I’m not regressing back to Christmas, or stuck in the wrong season!

P1100082

It’s definitely the end of January, and spring has just about sprung!

It’s so nice to still have daylight well after 4pm!

Up on my design board today are these lovely ladies!

Mama Hens (Siblings Together Bee 2)

Aren’t they a happy bunch!

When I was bee mama in Siblings Together Bee 2 last year, I asked everyone to make me a Mama Hen from Lori Holt’s book ‘Farm Girl Vintage’.

Mama Hens (Siblings Together Bee 2)

With 12 different makers, scrappy works best, so I kept the scrappy theme going in the Low Volume sashing and cornerstones.

I’m still debating whether or not to add a border, probably more scrappy LV, just to make it a bit bigger.

So nice to see the brood altogether at last!

Cluck! Cluck!

Jude xo

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Total Cuteness (and a giveaway)!


By Judith on January 24, 2016
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Last night I got to hang out with some of my favourite people!

Special Times
Special Times

It’s always lovely hanging with one of my besties, but it was especially good to catch up with Di and Tina too!

And of course there was this little bundle of cuteness to melt our hearts!

Special Times

Shame she’s not handbag size or she would have been making a trip home with me!!

And talking of handbags, how would you like to win this bundle of goodness to make your own!

Blogiversary Giveaway

It was my 4 year blogiversary back in December, but life (& Christmas) got a bit in the way!

I’m not one to break my promises and thanks to the generosity of Fabric Yard, you can win a half metre each of Kokka Pink Polka Dot and Premier Prints Trail (both in Deco weight cotton) and 2 sets of faux leather handbag handles.

Blogiversary Giveaway

I’m also throwing in a set of fimo row markers (made by my super clever daughter) and some quilting magazines.

Blogiversary Giveaway

Just leave me a comment by Friday 29th January, when I’ll draw the winner (sorry to my international friends, but due to the weight of the package this is open to UK & Ireland peeps only).

If you are a ‘no reply comment’ blogger you will not be entered unless you leave your email address in the comment box.

Best of luck everyone!

Jude xo

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Ahead of Schedule!


By Judith on January 21, 2016
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What with all the secret sewing going on around here, I’ll show you what I did at the weekend!

No, not that!  (though I am particularly chuffed that my ‘Couch to 5K’ training is up to 2.6k after only 3 weeks!).

Brit Bee R4 block for Ange
This is the next block installment in Brit Bee R4.  Designed by Di and made for Ange!
The block isn’t due until next month, but I knew AMH feathers can be a bit challenging.  I decided to foundation piece mine, and it worked a treat!
Churn Dash blocks for Bee Blessed

I also got a couple of Churn Dash blocks made for Bee Blessed.  They are collecting these in until 14th February, so still plenty of time if you fancy making one or two!
Happy Thursday!
Jude xo

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Signs of Spring!


By Judith on January 14, 2016
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The sun was shining in Belfast today (while everyone else was getting snow apparently!).

It’s so lovely to see a stretch in the day and vulnerable signs of spring pushing up in the garden!

Sunshine in January!

Today I’m showing you my mixed textiles ‘Man’ quilt!

Popular Patchwork Feb'16 - Man Quilt

This quilt was a return to my first love, recycling textiles. Despite it being a ‘man’ quilt, it was made mostly from women’s suit clothing and linens!

Mixed Textiles Man Quilt
Quilt top pic taken on a sunny October day!

I wish I had taken more ‘up close’ photographs to show you all the lovely textures here!  Perhaps when I get it back from Popular Patchwork I’ll take a few more pics.

Making a quilt from recycled textiles can be a very organic process.  If you like reusing cottons, shirts and linens, then why not have a go at making your own quilt!

It’s so satisfying seeing how unused clothing and unwanted textiles can be transformed into something snuggly and useful once again!

Linking up with Scraptastic Tuesday!

Keep warm!

Jude xo

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February Already?


By Judith on January 13, 2016
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No, no, not really!!

But the February issue of Popular Patchwork is out now, and I have 2 projects in this issue.

Popular Patchwork Feb'16 - Cathedral Windows Cushion

This is my Cathedral Windows cushion, made in Essex linen and Heather Ross. Mustard and purple might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I really love this colour combo!

Cathedral Windows Cushion
If you’ve attempted Cathedral Windows before, you will know about the ‘fiddle factor’!  Fiddly ironing, fiddly folding and fiddly sewing!!  But I’m pleased to say the Essex linen behaved beautifully!
Cathedral Windows Cushion

This is one of those patchwork techniques where the results definitely make the process so worth while!  My advice? Don’t rush it!
My 2nd PP project will be a separate post and link up.
Keep sewing!
Jude xo

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Tova The Younger!


By Judith on January 11, 2016
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My ‘uni girl’ returned to Uni today!

It’s been so lovely having her home again over Christmas.

You might remember a few months back I made my first Tova Tunic.  Well my daughter liked it so much she asked for one for Christmas!

Wikstein Tova for my girl!

Thankfully we are the same size (ish) and have similar tastes in prints. So no adjustments were needed!

I miss that cute smile already!

Jude xo

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Keep it Tidy!


By Judith on January 6, 2016
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I love storage! (sad, I know!)

I’ve made a few fabric storage buckets, and was pleased when Pretty Patches magazine commissioned this one!

Fabric Storage Caddy

I made it with Lecien fabrics from Sarah’s lovely shop, Pretty Fabrics & Trims.

I haven’t managed to pick up a copy of the magazine yet, but it is in the current issue (19) on sale at the moment.

At the weekend I managed to get the next round of Siblings Together Bee2 blocks made.

STB2 wonky crosses blocks for Sue Jan16

These are wonky cross blocks, made for Sue.  This is going to be a fabulous ‘boy quilt’.

I’ve been doing lots of sewing this week, and it’s frustrating not being able to show you yet! But there are many projects afoot, which will be revealed eventually, promise!

Happy Wednesday,

Jude xo

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A Year in Quilts!


By Judith on January 2, 2016
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I always do a wee roundup each month of my productivity and what I can show you for that month!

Here is what December looked like:

December15


And at the end of each year, I like to see what quilts (& table runners) I’ve managed to make:

2015 in Quilts
2015 has been a great year for productivity, working with 6 magazines and teaching 5 weekly classes.
I have some new business ideas I want to explore this year, as well as continuing to teach and develop new patterns (if there are any well behaved minions out there looking for work, send them my direction!).
So watch this space!!
Jude xo

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H.O.P.E.


By Judith on January 1, 2016
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I love New Years, perhaps even more than Christmas!

Not everyone shares this sentiment, but for me, it’s a blank page, a new start, fresh hope!

My word for 2015 was ‘Restoration’ – after burning out in 2014, I needed time out, time to reflect, time to restore and to just be!

As I look back, it certainly wasn’t the year I had envisaged this time last year! But there were many positives and blessings.  And for those I am thankful and grateful.

For some reason, it’s perceived as a bad thing to fail! Whether that’s in business, relationally, spiritually, creatively!  I’ve learnt that sometimes failure is good, because you learn stuff!  You learn so much more about yourself and those around you, and if you are open minded enough to absorb that learning, look forwards and not backwards, you might just take a step forward, develop vision and start believing in better once again.

From all the highs and lows in my 2015 I have done some restoring, but mostly I have done a lot of refining! I have refined my dreams, my capabilities, my boundaries, my self-confidence.

And as I go into 2016, my word for the year is HOPE.  I know there will be some down days, a failure or two, lows as well as highs, but that’s ok, because that is glorious, wonderful life.  And this life is worth living from a place of hopefulness and expectation.

I pray that as you go into 2016, you will be unburdened by your past, you will choose to live this year differently from the last many years, that no matter your age, you will grow wings and fly on the thermals of hope and expectancy that this year will be different and better.

I’m waiting for an awesome 2016! How about you!

Jude xo

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The Other Side!


By Judith on December 27, 2015
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Well, that’s it for another year! We made it through to the other side of Christmas, relatively unscathed (if several pounds heavier)!

Christmas '15
Christmas '15

I hope you got some time to relax and have fun too!

When all my work-sewing commitments settled down, I was able to catch up on the next Brit Bee block:

Brit Bee Block R4 for Sarah, designed by Jo

This block was designed by Jo and will soon be on its way to Sarah, made in her choice of colours.

It is quite an involved block, and I was disappointed to lose a point here and there, but overall I’m pleased with it and I think it looks really pretty!

Wheel of Time blocks for Bee Blessed

And speaking of blocks, I made these blocks for Bee Blessed earlier in the month but forgot to blog about them!

These blocks will be destined for a ‘Man’ quilt, and there’s still time to make one or two for the lovely ladies at Bee Blessed.  You can get the tutorial here.

And the final bit of December sewing to show you was a box of treats I sent over to the ‘Fab Five’ in my daughter’s uni flat!

Uni Box Christmas Treats
‘Stocking’ door decorations and cornets filled with chocolates!
Uni Box Christmas Treats
Key fobs and recycled denim coasters!

The box also contained candy canes,  fun beer mat masks & homemade peppermint creams!  Needless to say it went down a treat!

Happy Holidays!
Jude xo

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Quillow Up Front!


By Judith on December 21, 2015
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I’m delighted to be working with British Patchwork and Quilting magazine and submitted my first project to them several months ago!

Imagine my surprise when my first project is presented on the front cover!

British Patchwork & Quilting Jan16

It’s always a contributor’s delight to make the front cover!!

This is my Disappearing 9 Patch Quillow.  The disappearing 9 patch block is one of the quickest and most satisfying blocks to make.  And a quillow is a quilt which folds up into a pillow!!

British Patchwork & Quilting Jan16

Quillows are great for taking camping, to sleepovers, caravans, or in the car!

D9P Quillow 003

So if you’d like a quick and fun pattern to make one, get the January issue of British Patchwork and Quilting, out now!

D9P Quillow 001 (3)


Jude xo

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Keeping Secrets!


By Judith on December 20, 2015
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The last of my Secret Santa presents was gifted last night.

EPP hexie journal cover

I keep my hands busy on free evenings with a little EPP, and before you know it, a nice wee panel has come together!

EPP hexie journal cover
I recently acquired some 12wt Aurifil and wanted to see how it compared to Coats Creative threads. While it’s not quite as thick as Coats Creative, it sewed these hearts beautifully with a size 100 needle.
EPP hexie journal cover

I’m pleased to report that my notebook loving friend loved her present!  (for similar pattern see here).
EPP hexie journal cover

And I finally sourced a super bright daylight bulb for my sewing room which means I can still photograph projects when I’m working in the evenings.
EPP hexie journal cover
Photo taken at night under my daylight bulb!

It is also my 5 year blogiversary today!!  I’ve been blogging for 5 years, and while blogging in general seems to have taken a hit through IG & other mediums, I still really enjoy doing it and will continue for as long as I still do.
It has completely snuck up on me this year, so I’m not prepared with my customary giveaway, but don’t worry, I will have a little something special for you all in the new year!  Thank you for continuing to read my creative ramblings!
Only 5 more sleeps!!  
Jude xo

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At Last!


By Judith on December 19, 2015
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Christmas has finally arrived in the Hollies’ Household!

Jude xo

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Thankful!


By Judith on December 15, 2015
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I love working with magazines, because mostly I get to design and make stuff straight out of my head, or sometimes I’m given some ideas and then I can put the old creative grey cells to work!

For me the design process is the best part, I even tolerate all the maths much better than I used to!

The lovely peeps at Sewing World have published 3 of my projects in the January issue (out on Friday, 18th)! And their photography and staging is stunning!

First up, my nesting baskets:

Sewing World Jan16
A simpler version of my Foundation Pieced Schoolhouse cushion:
Sewing World Jan16
And my Rainbow Geese Quilt, made using the Rainbow and Low Volume Charm packs I sell in my Etsy shop:
Sewing World Jan16
It’s such a privilege to have my work published in this beautiful and professional way!  I still get all giddy when the next issue comes out and I see my projects in there among so many wonderful designers.
There are lots more inspiring projects in this issue to get your creative juices flowing!  So grab yourself a copy and spend some wonderful ‘play time’ sewing this holiday. 
And one more reason to be feeling giddy tonight – guess who’s back home for Christmas?
Jude xo

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Keep It Covered!


By Judith on December 14, 2015
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Do you bother to cover your sewing machine when it’s not in use?

Have you ever had one of those awful plastic covers, that quickly start to tear and become useless?

I’ve definitely been victim of the latter, which is what originally inspired me to write a pattern for a sewing machine cover!

Sewing Machine Cover for Hector!

The affectionately named ‘Hector’s House’ was the first ever cover I made, for my daughter’s machine.

Interest grew among my classes and so I developed a pattern for a bespoke cover, where you could take the dimensions of your machine and make a made to measure cover!

wee brother cover 002

Well now this pattern is available to everyone!

Popular Patchwork Jan'16

In the January issue of Popular Patchwork, you get all the details you need to make this cover, which includes a handle opening (again made to measure to your machine’s unique measurements) and 2 functional side pockets.

sewing machine cover 006 (2)

Doesn’t your machine deserve to be well ‘dressed’ and dust free!

The January issue of Popular Patchwork is packed full of great projects, and is out now!

Popular Patchwork Jan'16

Happy Sewing!

Jude xo

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Peek-A-Boo Birdie!


By Judith on December 10, 2015
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My classes finished last night for Christmas, and we had a little Secret Santa exchange at break time!

Porthole Dumpling Pouch

I made this little porthole dumpling, with some precious diminishing Kaufman ‘Double Happiness’ fabric.

Porthole Dumpling Pouch

The outer fabrics are leftover Irish linens from a quilt I made recently.  I love the contrast in textures between the Irish linen and the Kaufman cotton.

Porthole Dumpling Pouch

It may be small, but I was able to stuff some sewing notions inside, and I think this particular Secret Santa got it right!

2 more Secret Santa gifts still to make though!  Better get a shimmy on!

Linking up with Scraptastic Tuesday!

Jude xo

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It's A Boy!


By Judith on December 9, 2015
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A good friend of mine recently had the cutest little bundle of joy!

She already knew she was having a boy, which meant I could get a little something made in time for the important arrival!

Baby Boy Quilt

My friend loves bright, scrappy and low volume!  I don’t often get the opportunity to ‘think boy’ so I couldn’t resist sticking to a blue colourway.

Baby Boy Quilt

It was pure ‘playtime’ pulling fabrics that would work in a graduated way. I tried to graduate the LVs also, but it’s not just so obvious.

Baby Boy Quilt

Even the free motion stippling went smoothly!

My friend has now received the quilt and with a dino print on the back (no pics sorry!) ‘Mr Cute and Cuddly’ can hopefully enjoy lots of gurgle time on his new quilt!

Jude xo

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Christmas Placemats!


By Judith on December 8, 2015
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Fabric Yard have the funkiest, most festive and fun Christmas fabric in stock!

So I thought I’d make some cheery placemats with the aptly named Joy (multi) by Michael Miller!

Christmas Placemats for Fabric Yard

And Riley Blake’s Fancy Pinwheels on the back remind me of snowflakes (also available from Fabric Yard).  Don’t they just shout ‘Christmas Cheer’!

Christmas Placemats for Fabric Yard

So if you need a quick and easy make that will ‘wow’ your Christmas guests, pop on over to the Fabric Yard Blog for the full tutorial.

Jude xo

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Small Business Saturday!


By Judith on December 5, 2015
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Here in the UK, 5th December is Small Business Saturday, a day to encourage shoppers to get out to their local independent retailers and support small & unique businesses.

In keeping with this wonderful idea, I’ve restocked my shop with new Low Volume charm packs, and am offering 20% off everything until Monday, using coupon code SMALLBUS20!

Low Volume Charm packs (42 squares)

So if you fancy some discounted fabric, a pattern for a quilt, Christmas stocking or handbag, or a rainbow or mini charm pack for a quick and easy make, then pop on over to Just Jude Designs and enter SMALLBUS20 at the checkout!

Happy Shopping!

Jude xo

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Countdown to Christmas!


By Judith on December 1, 2015
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Well the advent calendar is up, the Christmas cactus is in full bloom, and the yarn bombed lampost outside my house received new attire today!

Christmas Cactus
Yarn bombed lampost

That can only mean one thing!  The countdown to Christmas has begun! Eeek!

Nov15 Roundup

My roundup for November looks a little scant, but once again there are projects I’ve been beavering away on which can’t be revealed just yet!

Ollie the Owl for Dotti/STB2

2 Ollie Owls were made and sent on their way for Siblings Together Bee 2.  And check out the brand spanking new Siblings Together Quilt Group blog! What a fab idea, a place where all contributors and supporters of Siblings Together Quilts can meet to chat, inspire and support one another. You can also read all about the wonderful charity that is Siblings Together.

So that’s my roundup for November.  I’ve quite a few deadlines in December, so there’ll be no slacking until Santa’s almost ready to come down my chimney!!

Keeeeeeep Sewing!

Jude xo

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Popper The Penguin!


By Judith on November 27, 2015
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This cute little fella popped into my head a while back, and now I can share him with you all!

Popper Pengiun in Dec Issue of Popular Patchwork

The remit from Popular Patchwork was a foundation pieced ‘winter animal’ cushion.  And so Popper was born!

Popular Patchwork Dec'15 Issue

In actual fact, when he first ‘grew’ on paper he was quite podgy, and so we affectionately named him ‘Fat Boy’!!  I think he’s been on the mince pies already!

You can find him in the December issue of Popular Patchwork. I hope you like him as much as I do!!

Popular Patchwork Dec'15 Issue

Also this issue is my Giant Log Cabin pattern, which Elizabeth, the editor, made up in beautiful Christmas Fabrics! Isn’t it gorgeous, keeping Popper company there on the front cover!

Popular Patchwork Dec'15 Issue

And, the monthly ‘Let’s Visit’ issue features Belfast written by yours truly!!  It was difficult to condense all the wonderful things about Belfast in just a few short paragraphs!

Popular Patchwork Dec'15 issue
So now you can pppppppppick up a ppppppppppppppenguin in ppppppppppopular pppppppppppatchwork! (sorry, couldn’t resist!)
Happy Sewing!
Jude xo

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Key Fobs Tutorial


By Judith on November 22, 2015
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Keyfobs make for great wee gifts, for family and friends of all ages!

And they are super easy to make too!  Here’s my tutorial on how to make them:
You will need:
8″ piece of 1.25″ wide webbing (or recycle a canvas/fabric belt)
1.25″ metal keyfob and ring (available from here)
8″ x 2″ piece of fabric (or use 1″ wide ribbon)
matching thread
fabric glue
small hammer
jewelry pliers
Method:
1. Press the long sides of the strip of fabric under (to wrong side) until you are happy with the finished width (a 2″ wide strip will need pressed under 0.5″ at each side). If using ribbon, no need to press under sides.

2. Place the strip of fabric right sides up on top of the webbing.

3. Stitch down both sides of the strip of fabric, close to the folded edges.  If you like, stitch a few more lines down through the centre of the fabric.

5. Bring the short ends together (with fabric facing out) and stitch across the top, through all layers. Place a little amount of glue along the top raw edges.

6. Place the key fob over the glued end of the webbing. You will want to cover the metal fob with fabric before hitting it closed with a hammer.

7. Finish clamping the fob with jewelry pliers, taking care not to mark the metal.

8. Finally, pop on the ring, and make lots more!

Key fobs

Happy Sewing!

Jude xo

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Scandi Stocking


By Judith on
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The lovely peeps at Sewing World sent me some gorgeous Makower Scandi fabrics to play with.

And if you pick up the December issue of Sewing World, you can see what I made with them!

Scandi Stocking Dec Issue Sewing World Magazine

I love how these fabrics, teamed with Essex linen, evoke the cosy Christmas feeling!

Scandi applique

Have you started your Christmas sewing yet?  Only 5 more weeks to go!

You can find more stocking patterns here in my Etsy shop.

Jude xo

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Aaaaachooooo!


By Judith on November 19, 2015
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Tis the season for snot and sniffles!!

So how about keeping those tissues at the ready in pretty fabric covers!

Tissue Box Covers in Issue 17 Quilt Now

I like to keep a box in several rooms, in fabrics to match the decor. But wouldn’t they also make sweet gifts too?

You can get the pattern for these in the December issue of Quilt Now, (however the cutting instructions for top and sides are the same for all layers (outer and lining fabrics, wadding and vilene) and not as listed).

QAYG Tissue box cover

These are great fun to make and I’m sure will be much needed this winter!

Happy Sewing!

Jude xo

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Little Itty Bits!


By Judith on November 17, 2015
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I didn’t quite make it in time to Scraptastic Tuesday with Leanne and Nicky, but here’s my scrappy contribution this week!

Key fobs

I’ve made over 70 keyfobs to sell in Well Made, and a few as stocking fillers.

I’ll have a little tutorial soon on how to make these wee gifts.

I also made 14 framed purses, but completely forgot to takes pics before they went into the shop! Doh!

Anyway, one last scrappy project to show you is my kids drawstring backpack, currently in issue 18 of Pretty Patches magazine.

Kids Drawstring bag in Pretty Patches issue 18

If like me you have lots of little itty bits of fabric kicking around, and need a Christmas present idea for your grandchild, niece, nephew or friend, then a colourful and practical bag could be just the ticket!

Kids Drawstring bag in Pretty Patches issue 18

Pretty Patches is a really sweet magazine full of cute and crafty projects, large and small. You won’t be stuck for ideas to make this Christmas!

Kids Drawstring bag in Pretty Patches issue 18

Jude xo

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Brrrrrrrrrr!


By Judith on November 13, 2015
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Temperatures have taken a tumble here, with log fires and cosy quilts becoming more and more alluring!

Or how about a hot water bottle!

Porthole Water Bottle Covers
Wet and stormy days make great sewing days, so why not rustle up some comforting hot water bottle covers?
I’m sure you know by now that I can’t resist a little patchwork porthole!! 
Porthole Water Bottle Covers
And a great way to use up those smaller scraps (that just seem to multiply when my back is turned!).
If you fancy making your own hot water bottle cover (fits standard size hot water bottles) then pick up the November issue of Popular Patchwork! (If you are local to me and have difficulty finding PP in the shops, email me for a list of retailers who stock it).
Porthole Hot Water Bottle Covers - Popular Patchwork Nov15

Stay warm!
Message for Sharon McCartney – thank you for your comment but I have no way of replying without an email address. Please leave your email address in another comment and I will get back to you. Thanks Jxo
Jude xo

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Pink For A Girl!


By Judith on November 9, 2015
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This summer, the most beautiful and perfect little girl came into the world!

(Check out some gorgeous pics here!)

I wasted no time in ordering an uber cute bundle of pinkness from an equally cute shop called Pretty Fabrics and Trims and got a cot quilt made (eventually)!

Baby Girl Quilt
I adapted a sweet pattern by Camille Roskelly called ‘Dapper’ (from her book Simply Retro, pg 45).
Baby Girl Quilt
For the back, I used a soft lemon flannel, which I hope will bring many cosy nap times for this little princess!
Jude xo

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Festive Apron Tutorial!


By Judith on November 5, 2015
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With only 7 weeks to Christmas (eek!) time to get started on some Christmas gifts!!

Here’s a super easy project to get you started!

Christmas Apron Tutorial for Fabric Yard

This fun and festive apron is made from 1m of Holly Jolly Gnomes by Michael Miller.

Christmas Apron Tutorial for Fabric Yard

A great stocking filler for any member of the family!

Pop on over to the Fabric Yard blog for the full tutorial!

Ho ho ho!

Jude xo

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Better Late Than Never!


By Judith on November 3, 2015
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The first of the month has been and gone, which is when I usually do my previous month’s roundup!

But better late than never right?

Oct15 Roundup
You can probably see Christmas creeping in here, and a few sneak peeks too! 
And of course there were the monthly bee blocks:

Brit Bee R4 Susan's block for Hadley Oct15

It was my mum’s birthday this week, and I made her this little ‘mobile medicines’ dumpling pouch!

Medicines dumpling pouch

I love how these cute little pouches fit perfectly into handbags, and can be personalised for all sorts of uses!
Medicines dumpling pouch
I hope to have more secret sewing reveals for you soon!
Happy Tuesday!
Jude xo

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Today Was ……


By Judith on November 1, 2015
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…. serene!

Castle Espie Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, Comber

 

A lovely way to end the weekend and start a new month!

Jude xo

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Boiling Beetroots!!


By Judith on October 29, 2015
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It’s been a milestone week for me, for several reasons!

My 2 ‘at home’ daughters have been away from me for a total of 6 days this half term holiday! The longest I’ve ever been ‘home alone’!!  I resisted from having ice-cream for tea every evening (just 4 times!! Joking!)

And just so that I didn’t feel completely like a non-parent, my precious first-born turned 20 on Tuesday!!  T W E N T Y!!!  Crikey-oh!  No more a teenager!  Trying hard not to feel old, and missing her all the more!!

And today, I boiled by beetroots!!  You heard right!!

A first for me, from my hearty first crop of ……. 6!! Just enough to make my mean chocolate and beetroot cake!! YUM!

And finally, let me show you my porthole notebook covers, as seen in the November issue of Quilt Now:

Porthole Journal Covers/Quilt Now Nov15

I love making portholes and the cute critters in the Dashwood Studio ‘Nature Walk’ range inspired me to create butterfly and hedgehog shaped portholes!

Porthole Journal Covers/Quilt Now Nov15

Normal service has resumed – 2 daughters back home, 40 minute telephone catch-up with first-born and freezer re-stocked with Ben and Jerry’s for the weekend!!

Jude xo

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Brit Bee Round 4!


By Judith on October 25, 2015
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We are off and running!

Brit Bee Round 4 is a go, and it’s just as well we have a super-complicated clever table to keep us on the straight and narrow!

Said table was designed by the equally clever Hadley, who I just happen to be making for this month!!

Here’s the science bit…

Brit Bee R4 Susan's block for Hadley Oct15

This block was designed by Susan, made by me, for Hadley!! (next month I will make Jo’s block for Sarah! Savvy?)

You see, we have each designed a 15″ x 30″ block, so over the course of the year, we will make each other’s blocks, in the colour/fabric preferences of the next person in the table!  At the end of 12 months, we will each have received 12 blocks (made by others) in addition to our own 15″ x 30″ and 15″ square starter blocks, to make up the quilts as we please.

I’m so glad I’m in a bee with really smart & talented people!!

Jude xo

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More Christmas Coasters!


By Judith on October 19, 2015
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If you are not ready for more Christmas projects, then look away now!!

EPP Dresden Christmas Coasters

These are my dresden Christmas coasters, as seen in the November issue of Sewing World!

EPP Dresden Christmas Coasters

Nov15 issue Sewing World

This project combines EPP (english paper piecing) with a little machine quilting and finishing. Perfect for using up leftover charm squares too!

EPP Dresden Christmas Coasters

I teamed the Christmas prints with some Essex linen (black) for the background, but you could quite easily make non-Christmassy versions of these!

This cute little set would make a happy stocking filler don’t you think!

Jude xo

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The Best Bit!


By Judith on October 18, 2015
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The best bit about being involved in a charity quilting bee, is donating finished quilts to good causes and those in need.

Bee Blessed donating quilts
Me with Pat, Senior Social Worker at RVH

Last week I had the privilege of bringing 15 baby and children’s quilts from Bee Blessed to The Royal Victoria Hospital’s Mums and Babies HIV unit.

Bee Blessed donating quilts

You may remember contributing to these quilts over the past year, or seeing them on my washing line!!

Bee Blessed children's quilts Aug15Bee Blessed Children's quilts

It is a privilege to pass on these quilts to families in much need of support and blessing. This was our 2nd bulk donation to RVH and we hope it won’t be the last.

Remember, if you would like to contribute a block or two to this charity bee, check out this month’s block tutorial here.

Jude xo

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Scrappy Scissors Cozy!


By Judith on October 13, 2015
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My scrappy project for this month are scissor cozies!

Scissors cozy

The genius behind this clever pouch is my lovely friend Svetlana! She has a brilliant eye for shape, design, colour and style! And very generously shares lots of tutorials on her blog!

Scissors cozy

For this pouch, I dipped into my large ‘sweetie jar’ of leftover half square triangles and just randomly sewed a low volume triangle to a coloured print!

Scissors cozy

And this one got the EPP treatment, using up small red scraps with leftover Essex linen (black) pieces to create a diamond/harlequin piece.

Scissors cozy

I think these pouches would make great presents for those who love to sew.  You could even keep a rotary cutter or two in them!

I highly recommend this pattern from Svetlana – in fact all her patterns are clearly written and easy to follow!

Linking up with the Queens of Scraps, Nicky and Leanne!

Jude xo

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Tova Tunic Trials!


By Judith on October 12, 2015
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I have long admired the Tova dress by Wikstein!

Some time ago, I bought the pattern, even printed out all the pages, stuck them together and cut out my size!

And then I parked it, convincing myself it was too complicated for my basic dressmaking skills!

Well, this weekend I bit the bullet and did it!

Wikstein Tova

I was pleasantly surprised at how easily this all came together, especially as I had never sewn a placket before! The pattern is really easy to follow & includes the option of a shorter/blouse version.

Wikstein Tova

I used a lovely piece of (donated) vintage fabric, and teamed it with accents of Essex yarn dyed linen in denim.  I’m particularly pleased with the fit!

Wikstein Tova

I love tunics, and definitely see a lot more of these in my dressmaking future.

Jude xo

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Too soon for Christmas?


By Judith on October 10, 2015
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No?

That’s good!

Because I have some Christmas coasters to show you!

Christmas coasters
Inspiration for these coasters found here.

My friend and I worked on these foundation pieced coasters together! (I couldn’t find templates for them, so I drafted my own patterns.) Don’t you think they would cheer up any coffee table at Christmas-time!

Christmas coasters

I’m getting my Christmas class samples ready for that moment when we realise that Christmas isn’t that far away after all, and creative panic sets in!!

And if you need to stock up on supplies, don’t forget about my lush Essex yarn dyed linen for sale in my Etsy shop, now available in half metre cuts.

Pop on over and grab yourself a bargain!

Happy Christmas weekend!

Jude xo

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Easy Baby Blanket!


By Judith on October 4, 2015
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My tutorial this month for Fabric Yard is so easy, even a complete novice quilter will enjoy making this!

Baby Quilted panel for Fabric Yard
28.5″ x 42″

This cute crib blanket is made from a printed panel called Saltwater by Riley Blake. (The backing is also from Saltwater).

This fabric has the cutest mermaids, fishies and even cute turtles!

Some simple quilting and binding and you’ll have a sweet gift in no time!

Baby Quilted panel for Fabric Yard

You’ll find the full tutorial here on the Fabric Yard blog.

Jude xo

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Blocks and Bear Paws!


By Judith on October 3, 2015
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This month in Bee Blessed we are making Friendship Stars:

Friendship Star blocks for Bee Blessed
Super easy and quick to make! These will make a lovely ‘friendship’ quilt.
In Siblings Together Bee (2), Jenny has asked us to make the blocks from Cloud 9’s Field Crossing Quilt. 
STB2 Blocks for Jenny
Another fab boy quilt in the making for Siblings Together camps next year. 
A few months back I made a few ‘girly’ blocks to go into a collaborative quilt for a very special little lady!
Photo from Sarah’s blog
My special friend, Sarah, had a baby girl in July, and this quilt has been made with love from several of Sarah’s quilting bloggy friends!  
Isn’t it gorgeous!  Here are my blocks (sorry about the washed out light – it was a very grey summer!)

Blocks for special baby quilt

You can read more about it (& see the cutest baby girl EVER) on Sarah’s blog!
And finally, October issue of Popular Patchwork is in the shops now! (I might have a wee project in it! Just sayin’!)

My BearPaw quilt in Oct issue Popular Patchwork

Bye for now!

Jude xo

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Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder!


By Judith on October 2, 2015
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Apologies for the blogging absence!

Not intentional, and certainly not because no sewing has been happening in the Hollies’ Household!

I’ve been beavering away on more magazine commissions and gifts. I was so busy I barely noticed we had moved seamlessly into a new month!

Here is my September Roundup.  (I’m using artistic license to include some magazine items revealed, as opposed to made, in the same month.)

Sept15 Roundup

The weather here this week has been so beautiful, a reminder of summer.  It got me thinking back to fun times in August!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Jxo

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Doing The Double!


By Judith on September 21, 2015
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At the risk of boring you all rigid, I’m pleased to show you my latest magazine submissions!

I didn’t realise I would be twice featured in the October issue of Quilt Now (out in UK this week). The theme this issue is ‘Single Block’ designs.

First up, Dissected blocks:

My Projects in Quilt Now Oct15

I thought, ‘what would happen if you take a traditional block and pull it apart!’ (sad, the places my mind goes!).

'Dissected block' wallhanging

First I created a mini quilt (30″ x 30″) based on a dissected ‘churn dash’ block.

The old grey matter kept smokin’ and out came 2 more blocks which I turned into cushions.

L-R: Courthouse Steps, Grandmother’s Cross

Keeping to a Kona Snow background with a limited colour palette helps achieve the effect of the dissected blocks.

Next up, Moroccan Mix Table Runner and Trivet:

P1070395

I actually made this first, back in May.

Inspired by the ‘Antique Tile’ block I started pulling fabrics that I thought would represent the depth of colour in Moroccan Tiles. The trivet was simply an after-thought, using up the leftovers!!

Moroccan Mix Table Runner & Trivet

I hope you don’t mind me sharing my publications here!  I’m not trying to blow my own trumpet – it’s just so nice to finally be able to show you stuff I’ve made which I’ve had to keep under wraps for a bit!

And just to give you some warning – there are lots more publications in the pipeline!!

Jude xo

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Blackberries and Maples!


By Judith on September 19, 2015
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You may be surprised to know that I was quite the domestic goddess today! (even I’m surprised!)

I made soup from homegrown tomatoes, basil, tarragon & celery; YUM

Made a fruit crumble from homegrown apples, white currants & 2 raspberries (and no shop bought crumble mix either! Oh no!  I made my own cinnamon crumble!); DOUBLE YUM

And …. (hold on to your hats) made a Victoria sponge, from scratch, with homemade plum jam (made by my friend!)!

I even took my youngest blackberry picking!!

Blackberry picking!

I’m in danger of growing my hair long, dying it black, and considerably upsizing my hips!!

And there was some sewing too!

Brit Bee Block R4
Pears & Mini Maple leaf blocks from Farm Girl Vintage

This is my block in Brit Bee Round 4.

This year we are each designing a block to make up 1 quilt design. At the end of our year(ish) we will all have the same quilt design, but made with a block from each of the other 11 members to go with our own block.  Clear as mud?!

Brit Bee Block R4

We also make a 15″ centre block to get started.  Because of the Farm Girl Vintage vibe going on round here, I thought I’d use the baby chick block I’d previously made from the book, bringing it up to size with Low Volume borders.

Farm Girl Vintage blocks
Thank you everyone for your lovely comments about being Cover Girl for Sewing World this month!
Sewing World Oct15

I heard today I made a double entry in October issue of Quilt Now!  Woohoo!  When I get to see a copy I’ll post some pics here of what I made!
Have a fab weekend!
Jude xo

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Giveaway!


By Judith on September 18, 2015
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It was a gorgeous sunny day today!  The hint of an Indian summer perhaps!!

AND it’s Friday!  2 good reasons to pick the winner of the Fabric Yard giveaway!

Drumroll please………

Congrats Benta! I’ve emailed you for your details.
I’ve been secret sewing and pattern writing like a demon this week.  But I did manage a little bit of Brit Bee sewing too! Too dark for photos now, but I promise some tomorrow!
Sweet dreams!
Jude xo

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Ever Seen A Blue Hen?


By Judith on September 16, 2015
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To enter my giveaway until Friday 18th September, follow this link.

I’m Miss September in the Siblings Together Bee 2, which means I get to set the block for everyone else to make!

Mama Hen for STB2 - Sept15

As I’m still crushing on Farm Girl Vintage, I choose the 12″ Mama Hen Block.  And in true (un)traditional style, went for a blue hen!!

The chooks have already started rolling in to the coop!  Here’s the little family so far:

STB2 mama hens so far!

Thank you everyone for your donations so far. This is going to be a fun quilt for a child separated from her sibling/s in the care system.

Feathered fowl seem to be a theme happening this month!!!

Jude xo

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Art Supplies Backpack Tutorial


By Judith on September 14, 2015
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Giveaway is now closed!

My September tutorial for Fabric Yard is one all budding artists will love!

Kids Art Supplies Backpack

Kids Art Supplies Backpack

These simple backpacks are made using 2 half metres of fabric, some cord and eyelets.

You can get all the necessary art equipment in these for a fun day out!  And check out this cool ‘Colour Me Fabric’ by Michael Millar – nothing to colour in?  Then why not decorate your backpack!

The full tutorial is here!

Kids Art Supplies Backpack

And here’s an extra treat for you!

Fabric Yard are kindly giving away 1m of ‘Colour Me Fabric’, a pack of fabric pens, and I’m throwing in the latest Issue of Quilt Now.

Giveaway Sept15

For a chance to win these goodies, just leave me a comment (‘no reply comment bloggers’ will not be entered unless you leave your email address in addition to your comment).

Giveaway closes Friday 18th September, international entries welcome.

Jude xo

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Dresden Sunburst Quilt


By Judith on September 4, 2015
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After 1.5 hours in the dentist’s chair this morning, I gave myself a gentler work schedule this afternoon.  Making & attaching bias binding (all will become clear soon!).

In the meantime, I thought I’d show you something else I’ve been working on this week.

Dresden Sunburst

In keeping with my ‘dresden’ theme this summer, I made the Missouri Star Quilt Company’s Dresden Sunburst pattern.

This pattern uses a layer cake and background yardage.  I used the oh so pretty Rambling Rose collection by Sandy Gervais, available from Quilter’s Quest.

These prints really ‘speak’ to my love of all things vintagey – I even love the brown!!

Dresden Sunburst

As usual I went off pattern a bit and used the leftover pieces from the layer cake to piece borders and fill the central negative space with an EPP mini dresden.

This quilt is now receiving the magical long-arm treatment (squeeeee!). Can’t wait to see how it turns out!

Tonight I lit the fire (2nd one this week, brrrrr!) and settled myself down with some hand sewing binding!

Hope you’ve had a fab Friday!

Jude xo

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Go Yellow!


By Judith on September 3, 2015
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Summer may be on its way out, but my Tropical Pineapple Bag has been featured in this month’s issue of Quilt Now!

Pineapple Bag in Quilt Now Sept15

I first designed the foundation pieced pineapple block for Ceri’s Brit Bee ‘foody’ themed quilt back in March 2012!

I must have been in the summer vibe back in June when I thought about making this tropical summer tote!

Pineapple Bag for Quilt Now

It was great fun to make, and Shannon had the perfect fimo zipper pulls to finish it off!

Pineapple Bag for Quilt Now

And speaking of daughter no.1, she is blogging again! Yay!  You can check her out here.

Jude xo

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Essex Linen & Kona Snow


By Judith on September 2, 2015
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I have restocked my Etsy shop with the ever popular Essex Linen and Kona Snow, all at great prices!

Fabric for Sale

I have also listed 2 Kate Spain (12 Days of Christmas) panels and a Stocking panel for sale.

Fabric for Sale
And there are still some discounted designer fabrics & Kona solids listed.  
So hop on over and grab yourself a bargain, while stocks last!
(I’m still waiting on more black and white stripe and a few other bolts.  I’ll keep you posted!)
Jude xo

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End of Summer!


By Judith on September 1, 2015
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“Tis the last rose of summer,
Left blooming alone;
All her lovely companions
Are faded and gone.”
Thomas Moore, 1830

Autumn has officially begun here in the UK!  It is the only season where I feel joy and grief all at the same time!

My hanging baskets are still flowering and beautiful, but there is a definite shift happening in my garden.

Daughters 2 and 3 returned to full-time school today, and some semblance of routine is  creeping in again!

Looking back on August, I am content with what I managed to make.

Aug15 Roundup

As usual, not quite everything is shown here.  There are the obligatory ‘secret’ projects happening behind the scenes too. All in good time!
And before I sign off, I’m delighted to tell you that Bee Blessed will be continuing from this month, and a lovely new blog page has been set up, just for Bee Blessed!  Hop on over to check out this term’s dates and how you can get involved again. 
Jude xo

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Boho Dresden Cushion


By Judith on August 30, 2015
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If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed I’ve been playing around with dresdens lately!

Today I can show you this….

Boho Dresden Cushion

This boho-style pieced dresden cushion is Jo’s pattern, found in issue 10 of Love Patchwork & Quilting (pg77).
It’s a really easy pattern to follow and I loved the addition of the ‘on-trend’ pom-poms!

Boho Dresden Cushion

I teamed some Amy Butler Soul Blossoms with Essex yarn dyed linen (black). The only change I made from the original pattern was to quilt the front and back. 
Boho Dresden Cushion

I didn’t have a round cushion filler, so it is temporarily (& poorly) stuffed with toy stuffing!

I really like how it has turned out, and so does no.1 daughter, who says it matches her other cushions perfectly (hint, hint)!!

Boho Dresden Cushion

Jude xo

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Farm House Lane


By Judith on August 28, 2015
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This summer I’ve been working on a quilt from the Farm Girl Vintage book by Lori Holt.

Farmhouse blocks - Farm Girl Vintage

If you haven’t already got this book, I highly recommend it.  All the blocks, quilts and projects in it are adorable and super easy to follow.

I particularly love ‘house’ quilts and so decided to make ‘Farm House Lane’ (pg128) using mainly Denyse Schmidt fabrics.

Farmhouse Lane Quilt top
Approx. 67″ x 71″

If you are familiar with this pattern, you will notice that I haven’t stuck completely to the brief (not like me at all!!!).

From previous posts you will know that I had started making the 16 x 6″ Welcome blocks which go in between the rows. But they are a little time consuming so I made an executive decision and went for rows of 2.5″ squares instead.

The 4 Welcome blocks became corner stones!

So now to make a back and think about how to quilt this baby!

Jude xo

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Denim Applique Bag


By Judith on August 25, 2015
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Denim applique bag

So this is denim bag no.3!

I took inspiration for this bag from here, and it was actually the first one I made of the set of 3!

Special features include twin needling (on pre-made fusible bias) and satin stitch applique …..

Denim applique bag

…. a zippered pocket in the back …..

Denim applique bag

….. inner pocket and detachable project pouch.

Denim applique bag

Instead of making my handles, I used these gorgeous sew on ‘leather’ handles (available soon from Fabric Yard).  I love how perfectly they finish the bag off.

Denim Applique bag
So that completes my trio of Denim bags!
Denim bags

It was so much fun making these and getting back to my first love of recycling textiles! There may be a couple more still to come, if I get more time to play!
Happy Tuesday!
Jude xo

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In Print!


By Judith on August 23, 2015
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This weekend has been full of friends, fun and flowers!

Yesterday was a ‘sewing day’ with great friends, great food, and great post too…

My Peg Bag pattern in Popular Patchwork/Sept15

So lovely to be published in Popular Patchwork for the first time, and more projects to come!  The September issue of PP is out now and packed full of wonderful quilty projects!

Today, my girls and I had the most relaxing walk around one of our most favourite places on earth!

Mount Stewart, Co. Down

The restored house and Italian gardens are open again to the public, and it was so lovely seeing new wonders in this familiar haunt!

And we rounded off a perfect day by celebrating daughter no.2’s brilliant GCSE results with the help of huge American burgers!

Hope you had a great weekend too!

Jude xo

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Yesterday was ……


By Judith on August 19, 2015
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… fragrant!

Roses as far as the eye can see!

Still so beautiful, even as they come to the end of their time!

And the names are just as inspiring!
The sun was shining and the surroundings (Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park) were so relaxing!

 A little piece of Eden here on earth!

It was a little budding rose,
Round like a fairy globe,
And shyly did its leaves unclose
Hid in their mossy robe,
But sweet was the slight and spicy smell
It breathed from its heart invisible. 
 A Little Budding Rose by Emily Bronte

Jude xo

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Out on the Line!


By Judith on August 16, 2015
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Today’s good weather was an opportunity to photograph Bee Blessed’s growing pile of baby and children’s quilts!

Bee Blessed children's quilts Aug15

We still have a few left to finish off before donating this batch to our local Mum’s and Babies HIV unit in September.

Bee Blessed children's quilts Aug15

A huge thank you goes to Hilary, a friend of Bee Blessed, who wanted to practise on her new quilting frame – we were more than happy to oblige her our quilts!!  I don’t think we would have been ready for a September handover without her brilliant quilting and binding skills on many of these quilts!

Thank you #hilsbelfast!

Bee Blessed children's quilts Aug15

And a big ‘thank you’ to you too if you contributed in any way to these quilts!  Going by the feedback we received from the last batch we gave to the Mums and Babies unit, these quilts will be gratefully received and provide much comfort and blessing to families in extreme need.

With 2 more quilts in my washing machine, and a few more to gather in from the troops, we will have in the region of 16-18 quilts to handover! More pictures will follow!

Jude xo

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One Inch Wonders!


By Judith on August 11, 2015
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Today is Scraptastic Tuesday – a monthly linky party over at Nicky’s and Leanne’s for all ‘scrap lovers’!

Not a month goes by when I don’t use scraps in some form or other.

This month I’ve already shown you 2 boxy pouches made from scraps:

Boxy Pouches

But I’ve also made this teeny dumpling pouch with 1″ hexies ….

Hexie Dumpling Pouch

… and an Essex Linen hot water bottle cover with 1″ postage stamp squares behind a porthole heart and a 1″ postage stamp inset trim.

Hot water bottle cover

Hmmm, hot water bottle covers in August?  Well it is a British summer after all!

Jude xo

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Box-ing Clever!


By Judith on August 5, 2015
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Boxy Pouches

I’ve been wanting to make a few boxy pouches for a while now!

I followed this tutorial, which is really clear and easy to follow.  Apart from a few tweaks to the odd seam allowance and sizing (to suit different patchwork options), I stuck to the tutorial and am pleased with the results.

Boxy Pouches

In true scrappy style, I made a ‘quilt as you go’ pouch, and some donated shot silk ‘tumbler’ scraps make up this more masculine pouch.

I thought these would make good wash bags, so I lined 2 with Rip-stop wipeable nylon.

Boxy Pouches

This is a versatile pattern, which can easily be adapted to suit your chosen patchwork and function – I’m thinking a wash bag for a guy, a toy caddy for a child, or how about a longer thinner pouch to hold knitting needles!

So get your scraps out and get boxing!

Jude xo

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Goodbye July!


By Judith on August 1, 2015
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Well July is forgettable for lots of reasons. Mainly the weather (would you believe I’ve had my electric blanket on a few nights recently!!).

And having an injured ankle, blocked ears (& no hearing) for 2 weeks, followed by a cold just about finished off any chance of having a fun and productive sewing month!  (Not to mention having to miss my dear friend’s thanksgiving service and Brit Bee meet up!)

July15 Roundup

While my ‘Monthly Mosaic of Makes’ for July looks a bit measly, there are a few other items I can’t show you yet, at least not until they are published.

I’ve been making good progress on my Farm Girl Vintage Farmhouse Lane quilt.  All 9 houses & 6 trees are complete.

Farmgirl Vintage Farmhouse Lane


There are 16 x 6″ ‘Welcome’ blocks to make, for the rows inbetween.  I’ve one made and all the pieces cut out for the rest.  But oh my, those 1.5″ squares!! There are hundreds of ’em – in the 6″ blocks, the tree blocks and the houses!!!  They’re everywhere!  Oh how I wish I had a 1.5″ Sizzix die!

Farmgirl Vintage Farmhouse Lane

So, I think little and often will be the order of the day for these wee blocks!

Linking up to Lily’s Quilts Fresh Sewing Day!

Jude xo

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Denim Hexie Bag!


By Judith on July 30, 2015
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In my series of denim bags I’ve been making this summer, here is bag no.2!

Repurposed denim (hexie) bag

Back in June, when my daughter was in hospital for a day, I had brought some epp hexies and denim scraps. I had 5 hours of sewing to fill, so needless to say, I got a lot of them basted and sewn together that day.

I unearthed them again recently, during my ‘denim dalliance’, and incorporated them into this patchworked bag!

Repurposed denim (hexie) bag
The back

Special features include a zippered pocket in the (bright) lining, and repurposed tabs and leather from the chopped up jeans used in the bag!

Denim Hexie Bag
I used a leather needle for the ‘organic’ tab


I also inserted some curtain eyelets (super easy) just to try out something different with the handles.

Denim Hexie bag

The bag is simply ditch quilted, and the fold up bottom meant no fiddly box corners or angled sides to contend with! As with all of these denim bags, I have reinforced the bases with handbag mesh plastic.

I love this bag, especially the many different shades of denim used (& I just stuck with blues!). They aren’t as difficult to EPP as you might think, especially as most of the denim has been softened up through lots of wear!  Just use a bigger needle and seam allowance & glossy magazine papers.

Denim projects

So next time you rip or wear out your jeans, think ‘handbags’!

Jude xo

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Denim & Selvedge Bag


By Judith on July 28, 2015
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So you know I was working (aka playing!) with some denim recently!  I’m working on a series of bags which I may teach in the Autumn term.

Well I got 2 bags completed today (you can thank the continuous rain since Sunday for that!).

Today I’ll show you my Denim and Selvedges bag!

Repurposed denim & selvedge bag

Like most trends and fads, I was a latecomer to the selvedge craze, but I’m head over heels about them now! I think it appeals to my love of recycling textiles, especially when some designer selvedges are so adorably cute!

Denim projects

The front and back of this bag have the same design, just different selvedges used. The denim is all from recycled jeans, and the handle was a belt from another pair of jeans!

repurposed denim & selvedge bag

Bag linings are a great excuse to use loud and vibrant fabrics and I didn’t hold back on this one!

Because of the pleat I couldn’t insert my usual array of pockets, so I simply popped in a wee denim pocket (which was once on a child’s dress) and a key fob to keep those keys handy!

The magnetic closure tab has been finished with a felt button given to me a while back by a lovely quilty friend.

Repurposed denim & selvedge bag

I really enjoyed many aspects of making this bag, especially using Coats Creative thread for the feature quilting. I haven’t used this thread before, and just happened to have the right colour of ‘jeans orange’. It’s much thicker than standard thread, and you need a size 100 (jeans) needle, but the sewing was smooth and I will be on the lookout for more of this range (Gutterman Creative & Gutterman Jeans threads are not as thick as Coats Creative & I have still to try Aurifil 12wt).

My playtime continued with a little matching pouch to go with the bag.

Repurposed denim & selvedge bag
Clearly I couldn’t stop sewing down those cute selvedges!
L: Porthole Hexie; R: EPP hexie
I’ve put an eyelet in the pouch too, so that it can be clipped onto the keyfob inside the bag. This will keep a sewing/crochet project handy to throw into the handbag on trips out!
Apologies for the long post for this one! It feels like I’ve been birthing this bag for a while and it’s so satisfying seeing it not only complete, but turning out just how I imagined it!
Stay tuned this week for bag no.2!
Jude xo

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A Little Dabble with Denim!


By Judith on July 25, 2015
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How has your week been?

There’s been the usual flurry of activity here at the Hollies Household, with 2 extra lovely uni guests entertaining us!

I’ve managed to snatch some sewing time here and there, playing mostly with one of my favourite textiles – denim!

Denim projects
Satin stitch applique and twin needling
Denim projects
English Paper Pieced denim hexies

Denim projects
Selvedge strips & denim

These will hopefully become handbags of varying shapes and sizes, all to be revealed in good time!

Denim projects
Porthole selvedge hexie!

I’ve also been doing a little secret Christmas sewing, but I’m afraid you will have to wait until the Merry season to see the rest!

Scandi applique
I hope you are having a sewing summer!  
Apparently we are getting monsoon like conditions tomorrow (!!) Batten down the hatches!
Jude xo

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Holiday Coin Purse!


By Judith on July 18, 2015
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Need an extra little coin purse for your holiday currency?

Coin Purses - Fabric Yard Tutorial

Keep your Euro’s, Dollars, Rupees or Krones safe & separate from your Stirling with these cute little coin purses!

They’ll fit snuggly into your holiday bag and the key fob attachment means you can clip it securely to the inside of your bag.

Coin Purses - Fabric Yard Tutorial


If you want to have a go at making these easy peasy pouches, pop on over to Fabric yard for the full tutorial.

Coin Purses - Fabric Yard Tutorial

And while you’re there, check out the stunning new fabrics, or grab yourself a summer bargain!

Happy Sewing!

Jude xo

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Hexie Framed Purses


By Judith on July 14, 2015
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Due to enforced resting, and not being able to do my usual ‘up on my feet’ hours, EPP was required to keep this natural ‘fidget pants’ from going nuts!

I wanted to thank 2 very special friends for their help to me in recent days and knew just what to make!

Hexie Framed Purses

I like small EPP projects, and for 1″ hexies, scraps are perfect.

One friend particularly likes Bonnie & Camille fabrics ….

Hexie Framed Purses

……. and the other plum shades with grey (Irish linen).

Hexie Framed Purses

These were the perfect little projects to test out my dodgy ankle on the sewing machine presser foot! Wee buns!!

I even managed a bit of driving today too!

Onwards and upwards!

Linking up to Nicky and Leanne’s Scraptastic Tuesday!

Jude xo

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Brit Bee Medallion!


By Judith on July 12, 2015
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I can’t tell you how excited I am to finally get to see, touch, stroke and drool over my Brit Bee Medallion!

My Brit Bee Medallion July'15

This Brit Bee ’round robin’ type project started almost 2 years ago (Sept’13). We all worked to the same design (thank you Hadley), made our own centre block, and then waved goodbye to it as it got passed along 11 more ladies to add borders and work their magic.  This means we have all contributed to each others medallions at one stage or another.

My Brit Bee Medallion July'15

The medallions were exchanged in person among those who were able to attend Terri’s Memorial Service yesterday.  For those of us not able to make the handover in person, we opened ours at the same appointed time!  A true bee event!

My Brit Bee Medallion July'15

I’m ridiculously pleased at how well my Brit Bee buddies have interpreted my tastes and fabric likes from just my centre block and a few scraps of fabric!

The original inspiration for my medallion was the new wallpaper in my front room and the medallion is TOTALLY PERFECT in that room, right down to the little birdies in the corner stars!  Crazy perfect!

I have no clue how I’m going to back or quilt this beauty, so I think I’ll just gaze at it a while longer!

My Brit Bee Medallion July'15

And the other special post I received yesterday were THE BEST Millionaires Shortbread ever (thank you Trudi) and the sweetest ceramic medallion from Di!

I’ll leave you with a glimpse at some of the other medallions (pic by Hadley).  Brit Bee forever!

Jude xo

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Blocks and Bumps!


By Judith on July 9, 2015
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The 100 Quilts for Siblings Together 2015 was not only reached in time, it was surpassed!  The latest tally is 116!  How great is that!!  That means 116 kids, separated from their siblings by the care system, will this summer each receive a quilt at specially arranged camps.  You can read more about Siblings Together and donated quilts here.

Thank you everyone for your involvement and support this year.

The Siblings Together Together Bee2 continues on throughout the year, getting ready for next year’s quilt drive. Yesterday I got July’s block completed.

Siblings Together Bee 2 July block

This 15″ block is called Squirrel at the Wheel and was set by Charlo/Quiltification – check out her great tutorial on making this block.

I’m glad I got the block made yesterday, because last night I had a little accident and am now trying (not very well!) to get around on these!

P1080034

A leisurely walk with friends turned into a trip down a ditch, 4 hours in A&E and a chipped ankle bone and badly torn ligaments!  No walking, driving or sewing for me for a few days!

What a numpty!

But I’m more disappointed at not being able to travel tomorrow to meet up with my Brit Bees at Terri’s Memorial service on Saturday! I know it will be a special day, celebrating the life of our dear friend.

I will be with them all in spirit!

Jude xo

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Back to Porridge!


By Judith on July 7, 2015
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Well the welcome back home from Portugal was a little on the chilly side, especially when you get this every day for a week!

So back to porridge it is!

I was away for the traditional Fresh Sewing Day round up on the first of the month, so here is my mosaic of makes for June:

June15 Roundup
There are a few more magazine submissions coming up, which I’m looking forward to showing you.
In the meantime, let’s hope another heat wave is on the cards soon!
Jude xo

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Kids on the Block!


By Judith on June 27, 2015
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This week I’ve been beavering away on my Farm Girl Vintage Farmhouse blocks.

Farmhouse blocks - Farm Girl Vintage

I’m now up to 7 (includes the 2 you have previously seen).  Only 2 more to go!

But as I’m taking a few days off and switching off sewing machine and laptop, that’s my lot for now!

And I’ll leave you with some fun family pics of my youngest daughter’s 14th birthday bbq in my mum and dad’s beautiful garden.

Enjoy the heat wave!!

Jude xo

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