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.

 

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.

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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Picnic Carry Cushions!


By Judith on June 25, 2015
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Someone told me it was summer!  Though you might not always think it around here!

But if you are lucky enough to be getting some warm sunshine, how about making a handy Picnic Carry cushion!

In print! Picnic carry cushion
In the July issue of Sewing World you will find my pattern for making piped and non-piped cushions.
These are great for taking to picnics, camping, outdoor festivals or right at home in your garden. 
Patio/Picnic cushions
You can make them using quilting cotton, deco weight or even recycled denim!

Denim picnic cushion
If you’ve never tried piping before, give it a go! You will find it easier than you think!

Get out there and enjoy your summer!

Jude xo

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Time to Play!


By Judith on June 23, 2015
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No more GCSE exams for my middle daughter, and end of term on Friday (& birthday) for the youngest, means …..

… a meal out with the funniest teenagers I’m privileged to call my girls!

And as the last of my classes are winding down this week for the summer break, I get to play!

Drunkards Path

I was inspired by Aylin’s gorgeous cushion, and have been wanting to do more with my Sizzix drunkard’s path die.  So when I eventually decided on some fabrics & scraps, I set to cutting and sewing.

I’ve actually finished 5 x 14″ blocks and sewed them together for a potential table runner, but I couldn’t fit them all into 1 photograph!!  Once again I find Leanne’s technique for sewing curves much quicker and simpler than the endless pinning method!

I’m also working on some Farm House blocks from the Farm Girl Vintage book (pg 27).

Farmhouse blocks - Farm Girl VintageAs usual I’ve deviated from the quilt-a-long block schedule currently running on Lori’s blog!!

My plan is to make the Farmhouse Lane Quilt shown on page 128 of the book, but truth be told, I want to make every single thing in this book!!

Fingers crossed I can stay focused and not get distracted by one of the many other beautiful projects in the book!

Happy sewing!

Jude xo

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Bee Blessed Blessings!


By Judith on June 20, 2015
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Today Sarah and I handed over the reigns of Bee Blessed to this wonderful group of ladies!

Last day at Bee Blessed

Thank you ladies for a lovely vintage tea party today & the gorgeous flowers!

Last day at Bee Blessed

The past 4 years have been a blessing not only to those who have received our quilts, but also to me personally as I have sewed, laughed (and eaten loads!) with you all.

Last day at Bee Blessed

Sarah and I are thrilled that the spirit of Bee Blessed will continue in September, and we hope to soon bring you more news about the next chapter of this charity quilting bee!

Stay tuned!

Jude xo

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Table Mat Tutorial!


By Judith on June 15, 2015
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Ever wondered what to do with those orphan blocks lying around?

How about turning one into a Non-Slip Table Mat?

Non slip table mat

Here’s a 12.5″ Starflower block, bordered, quilted and backed with Bulgomme Table Protector.

Non slip table mat - tutorial

And before you know it, you have a sizeable and practical table mat, for indoors and outdoors!

Non slip table mat

You can find the full step by step tutorial over on the Fabric Yard blog.

So why not give those lonely orphans a purpose!

Jude xo

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Small Pieces!


By Judith on June 12, 2015
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This week is Scraptastic Tuesday over at Nicky’s and Leanne’s! Check out the amazing things folks have been making with their scraps!

My scrappy efforts this month are 2 Quilt As You Go purses!

QAYG Framed purses

This one from a 5″ sample swatch book of pastel linens:

Framed Purses

And this one from my favourite blues and oranges:

Framed Purses

So what have you been making with your scraps?

Jude xo

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Blocks & A Winner!


By Judith on June 10, 2015
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Up first is the draw for my Zazzle £50 giveaway!

And the winner is…….

Congratulations Helen!  I will pass your email address onto Zazzle so you can get your voucher and start shopping!

Thank you everyone for taking part!  I will have another giveaway in no time at all!

And before I go, just time to show you June’s blocks in the Siblings Together Bee (2).

Siblings Together bee 2 blocks - June15
These 15″ blocks are for Helen. This will be another brilliant ‘boy’ quilt! 
The tally of quilts for this years’ ST summer camps is nearing 90!  Not far away from the 100 target, but only a few weeks left!!!
Hope you got to enjoy some lovely sunshine today!
Jude xo

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Baby Fun!


By Judith on June 9, 2015
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Last chance to enter my Zazzle giveaway here!

A very special friend of mine will be having her baby soon (squeeee!) so a ‘baby shower’ was called for!

I had never been to a baby shower before (they aren’t native to UK!) but oh what fun!

Thank you Tina for hosting and keeping us laughing in lots of baby related entertainment!

There was of course lots of gift giving! (I’m now addicted to baby departments in every store!)

I found this great tutorial on Pinterest for a baby changing clutch.

Changing mat clutch for Sarah

Changing mat clutch for Sarah

And another pattern for bibs!

Baby shower gifts for SarahAnd something to put all these baby goodies in, an economy square linen basket (a little larger than expected!!).

So all we need now is baby!!

Jude xo

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Framed Purses & A Giveaway!


By Judith on June 6, 2015
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Framed Purses - fabrics by Zazzle

These 2.5″ x 6″ framed purses have been made using gorgeous deco weight fabrics from Zazzle! (tweed, linings and frames are my own).

Zazzle are an online store, where you can not only buy the querkiest custom gifts, but they also sell a fabulous range of cotton, poplin and linen fabrics, suitable for crafts, handbags, purses, cushions, dressmaking and much more!

Framed Purses - fabrics by Zazzle

I made these framed purses using Zazzle’s cotton range, and if you hop on over to their blog, you can get my tutorial on how to make them.

And here’s even more great news!

The generous peeps at Zazzle are offering a £50 voucher to a lucky reader of my blog!

So here’s how you can win:

1. Have a good browse around the Zazzle shop (it might take a while!!), especially their fabrics, and come back here and tell me what you would spend your voucher on.
2. For a 2nd chance to win, like their Facebook page.

I will announce the winner on Wednesday 17th June.

Happy crafting!!

Jude xo

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One Lovely Blog!


By Judith on June 3, 2015
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My lovely bloggy friend Ruth (Charly & Ben’s Crafty Corner) has nominated me for an award!

Thank you Ruth for the lovely compliment. 

The conditions to accepting the award are

  • Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their post.
  • Share 7 things your readers may not know about yourself.
  • Choose 10 blogs to nominate for the award. (It is fine to nominate less than ten, just however many you feel comfortable with.)
So here are 7 things about me:

1. I love elephants and have lots of them around my house (not real ones of course!)
2. One day, I would like to visit Florence & Tuscany in Italy.
3. My favourite colour is purple!
4. I live in a city (Belfast, Northern Ireland) though my heart is always in the countryside.


5. I have 3 teenage daughters who make me laugh! They are my world.


6. I have had a deep Christian faith from a young age – God is my rock and foundation.
7. I love to read survivor stories of world war 1 & 2. The strength of the human spirit to endure, overcome and even forgive the most extreme cruelty inflicted by man greatly inspires me!

I’m afraid I have struggled to find 7 interesting things to write about myself!  I hope you aren’t too bored!

But here are a few much more interesting people you will love to read about!

Sarah: Sew Me
Tina: Secret Ingredient  – Love
Helen: Archie the Wonder Dog
Mary: Handmade by Mary
Teje: Nero’s Post and Patch

Many thanks again for taking the time to read my regular ramblings, and to Ruth for the nomination!

Jude xo

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Pixelated Hearts!


By Judith on June 2, 2015
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One of my favourite makes last year was this mini pixelated heart wallhanging.

Mini Pixilated Heart wallhanging for Shannon
Hanging in my daughter’s room at Uni

It was quick and easy to make.  So I thought you might like a tutorial on how to make one yourself!

Pixelated heart mini quilt
To make this 22.5″ x 22.5″ mini quilt, hop on over to the Fabric Yard blog for step by step instructions.  (And while you’re there, check out Alice’s new website!).

Jude xo

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British Summer Time????


By Judith on June 1, 2015
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It’s been over a week since I last blogged!!  Apologies!

This week (make that ‘month’) has been busy, and then I was away over the weekend with friends.

Annalong Mill

My sewing machine also spent a week away, in the ‘fix-it’ shop, which has slowed me down on some deadlines.

But now that Mr Pfaff is back home, sewing is continuing apace! There’s quite a bit of May’s sewing I can’t show you yet, but here’s some I can!
May15 Roundup
I’m dreadfully behind on my Farm Girl Vintage blocks, but I did manage to get my Siblings Together quilt finished and posted off!

May was also special because I got to meet up with some of my Brit Bee mates, and bring my Uni-girl home!!

Another whirlwind month (to go with the whirlwinds outside!!)

Linking up with Lily’s Quilts Fresh Sewing Day!

Jude xo

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Bank Holiday Bargain!


By Judith on May 24, 2015
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Tomorrow is the 2nd bank holiday Monday in May for us in UK.

It doesn’t look like the weather is going to cheer us up, so how about 20% discount on designer fabrics, patterns and charm packs!

bank holiday Monday May15

Everything in my Etsy shop is 20%, using the coupon code BANKHOLIDAY20 at the checkout!

So if you want a new pattern to try out …

.. a charm pack or two….

or discount on some already discounted fabrics …

then pop on over to my Etsy shop and grab yourself a bank holiday bargain!

Discount available until Saturday 30th May, while stocks last.

Jude xo

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Secret blocks!


By Judith on May 20, 2015
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Now that 2 of my lovely Brit Bee buddies have received their BIG birthday wallhangings, I can show you which bits were mine!

Mannequin mini block
Di’s wallhanging was ‘sewing’ themed so I made my own mannequin paper pieced pattern to make this block.  
You can see it here in the quilt (for some bizzare reason I didn’t get a photo of the front of the quilt, doh!)

Trudi loves the colour green so we went with a ‘leafy’ theme for hers.  Of course there was only ever going to be one block for me to make!

Clover mini block

And here it is in the quilt:

There’s lots more secret sewing happening around the Hollies’ household at the moment, but I’m delighted to have my very own personal assistant (uni daughter) back with me!!

Jude xo

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Loving Memories!


By Judith on May 18, 2015
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I spent the weekend across the water, in a beautiful part of the world!

Lincolnshire – View from my bedroom window!

A few of us Brit Bees got together to remember our beloved Terri …

Brit Bee Meet Up May'15
Terri’s Brit Bee quilts which we are finishing for her girls.

… pass on ‘special birthday’ gifts …

Brit Bee Meet Up May'15

… and eat loads and laugh even  more!

Brit Bee Meet Up May'15Brit Bee Meet Up May'15Brit Bee Meet Up May'15

Our very own Ceri is running 10k for Cancer Research soon, in a patchwork dress no less, made up from donated quilt blocks!  If you would like to make a donation to this amazing organisation, you can do so here: https://www.justgiving.com/ceristokoe/

Thank you my lovelies for the happy memories!

And my weekend was made complete with a stop off in Derby to collect uni-daughter and whisk her back home for the summer! Yey!

I’ve got all my chicks around me again! Happy, happy!

Jude xo

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