New Class Project: Jan’ 2020


By Judith on December 6, 2019
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Well it’s hard to believe that we only have 1 more week of classes left for 2019!  Where on earth did that year go!!

 

I can’t wait to show you the beautiful wreaths folks have been making as part of our (optional) class project this term.  They’re stunning!

 

But before one term is out I always present to my classes what the next term’s (optional) class project will be.

 

Our technique focus next term will be Pleats & Tucks.

 

 

The main difference between pleats and tucks is that pleats are formed by folding the same length of fabric into folds which are only stitched down at the top and bottom ends, whereas tucks are constructed separately and then sewn into the project.

 

You will of course be more familiar with seeing pleats and tucks in clothing and apparel, but I love how different techniques in textiles can cross over into other disciplines, usually with a little creative tweaking!

 

So far I have 2 class samples made (both tucks!), but I hope to have one more pleated sample completed before the start of term!

 

 Cushion with Tucks:

There are many different effects you can achieve by manipulating tucks.

 

Cushion with Tucks (class sample)

 

I really like the ‘spread’ effect you get from this variation of the Wave Tuck.  You can see each of the feature fabrics standing out nicely against the black Essex Yarn Dyed Linen.

 

Cushion with Tucks (class sample)

 

Zippy Pouch with Tucks

 

Pouch with Tucks (class sample)

 

This is an example of Twisted Tucks. Before sewing along the bottom edge of the pouch, the tucks are twisted back, revealing the secondary colour. This effect adds a lovely decorative touch to bags and pouches.

 

Pouch with Tucks (class sample)

 

So that’s us (almost) ready for next term.  If you would like to join us for some creative sewing fun, you can see all the available classes here.

 

In the meantime I have a few Christmas presents to make, and the small matter of workshops for February’s Retreat to make too!

 

No rest for the wicked!!

 

Happy sewing!

 

 

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Kantha on Tweed & Giveaway


By Judith on November 9, 2019
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If you read my last post, you will know that I’ve been making gifts for my #Threads Across the Sea quilting friends.

 

Here’s what I made:

 

Kantha Tweed Drawstring Pouches

 

I love the organic nature of kantha stitching, an ancient form of Indian embroidery.  Originally used on saris, kantha now makes appearances on apparel, home furnishings and quilts.

 

Photo source: SewGuide.com

 

Combined with my love of tweed and woollen textiles, I thought wouldn’t it be radical fun to try a little tweed/kantha combo!

 

And so 3 Kantha/tweed drawstring bags were formed!

 

Kantha Tweed Drawstring Pouches

 

Most of the fabrics in the exteriors of these bags are from free sample books (love a bit of recycling).

 

I pieced the exteriors, then bedded down the seams with a little top stitching onto heavy sew-in vilene.

 

And then the kantha fun began!

 

Kantha Tweed Drawstring Pouches

 

Aurifil 12wt wool threads are perfect for this type of naive embroidery.  I choose saturated colours to compliment the soft tones of the tweed and wool.

 

Kantha Tweed Drawstring Pouches

 

Now I sized these bags for a particular purpose.  Inside where funny mugs the girls could take along to their respective Modern Quilt Groups!

 

Kantha Tweed Drawstring Pouches

 

Aren’t they funny! You can find a great selection of craft, sewing and knitting slogan mugs here.

 

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

And now onto my giveaway!

 

Kantha Bag Giveaway

 

How would you like to win one of my Kantha Tweed bags?

 

Giveaway

 

Not only that, you will also get a copy of Hoop Art by Christin Morgan (20 hand embroidery projects) and 4 spools of Aurifil 12wt cotton floss.

 

Giveaway

 

To enter please …..

1  follow me on Instagram @justjudebelfast and tag a friend

2  like my Facebook Page

3  and leave a comment here or on FB or IG telling me what’s your favourite textile to work with.

You have until Monday 18th November to enter, when I will announce the winner (international entries welcome).  (Please ensure you leave your email address with your comment if you are a ‘no reply blogger’.)

Good luck everyone!

 

Happy sewing!

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Threads Across the Sea 2019


By Judith on November 8, 2019
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For the past few years, an annual tradition has started among 3 of my long time quilty friends and myself.

 

Threads Across the Sea 2019
L-R: Sarah (@sewmesarah), Me (@justjudebelfast); Trudi (@trudi_wood); Di (@willowbeckdesigns)

 

2 of us live in N.Ireland and the other 2 in England.  We try to meet up each year to sew, taking it in turns to meet on either side of the Irish Sea!  And that’s why we call ourselves #Threads Across the Sea!

 

Threads Across the Sea 2019

 

This year, Trudi and Di came to not so sunny Belfast and spent a weekend of chatter, natter, lots of eating (delicious home baked yummies by Trudi and Sarah!) and of course some sewing in my studio!

 

One of our traditions is to gift handmade items to each other!  This is like Christmas come early!!

 

Threads Across the Sea 2019

 

From Sarah we each received these personalised Arm Chair Caddies (pattern from the book ‘Zakka Home’).  Aren’t they cool!  And Sarah got me spot on with my love of denim and all things ditsy!

 

Threads Across the Sea Gifts
Threads Across the Sea Gifts
Threads Across the Sea Gifts

 

I will definitely be using mine when hand stitching in the evenings in front of the telly!

 

Threads Across the Sea 2019

 

From Trudi we each received a beautifully hand embroidered Clearly Carry All Pouch by Sewing Illustration.

 

Threads Across the Sea Gifts

 

Trudi is an amazing hand stitcher and quilter, and being recently laid up with injured ankles facilitated the huge amount of time she invested in these pouches.

 

Threads Across the Sea Gifts
Threads Across the Sea Gifts

 

 

I particularly love the sashiko stitching on Art Gallery Denim! Yum!

 

And from Di we each got a treat bag of goodies!

 

Threads Across the Sea 2019

 

Di lives in the Lake District and the particular area she lives in is known as the Cake District!!!  Fab or what!

 

Included in the bag were thread snips, mobile thread cutter/needle threader and wood turned items made by Di’s uber talented hubby!  Check out the gorgeously tactile needle holder and Christmas Tree decoration!

 

Threads Across the Sea 2019

 

See what I mean by Christmas come early!  I’m so blessed to call these talented women my friends.

 

And if you want to know what I made for my 3 friends, you’ll have to tune in again to find out (and there might be a wee giveaway too! wink wink!).

 

Having a sew-social with like minded creatives and wonderful friends is one of my favourite things!  Already looking forward to TATS20!

 

Happy sewing!

 

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Post Retreat Roundup


By Judith on November 3, 2019
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Sorry it has taken me so long to post about our first Quilting Retreat (last weekend).  I’ve had some very special visitors this week (which I’ll tell you all about soon).

 

It’s hard to believe that a week ago today we were heading home after a wonderful weekend of sewing, eating, fun and games!

 

Quilting Retreat Oct19

 

Murlough house is a 150 year old stately house situated only 5 minutes walk from the beach and surrounded by beautiful and calming gardens. The staff that run the house were so accommodating and friendly and the meals ……. oh my! We were spoiled!  Their generous and servant heartedness combined with this beautiful setting established our retreat vibe from the first day.

 

Quilting Retreat Oct19

 

There was of course lots of independent sewing time in the big hall. I have lots of photos of fabulous finished projects, but here are just a few!

 

Quilting Retreat Oct19
Quilting Retreat Oct19
Quilting Retreat Oct19
Quilting Retreat Oct19
Quilting Retreat Oct19
Quilting Retreat Oct19
Quilting Retreat Oct19
Quilting Retreat Oct19

 

After dinner in the evenings, we had a few fun games like a our pincushion swap, sewing bingo and the postage stamp charity block race, before getting down to more serious sewing time.  (The hard core stitchers were still in the Hall to the wee hours of the morning!!)

 

Quilting Retreat Oct19
Postage Stamp Blocks for Siblings Together

Quilting Retreat Oct19
Quilting Retreat Oct19
Quilting Retreat Oct19
Quilting Retreat Oct19
Quilting Retreat Oct19

 

In addition to all of this I ran 2 workshops:

Sashiko cushion (Saturday afternoon) ……

 

Quilting Retreat Oct19
Quilting Retreat Oct19

 

….and selvedge projects (Sunday morning).

 

Quilting Retreat Oct19
Quilting Retreat Oct19

 

A few folks also managed to fit in some walks (& runs) around the bay!

 

Phew! What a lot we managed to pack in!

 

From the feedback forms I can safely say that everyone had a fabulously relaxing and productive weekend.

 

Quilting Retreat Oct19

 

A huge thank you to everyone who came and participated in all the activities so eagerly and to all the staff at Murlough House for spoiling us.

 

Thank you too to my 2 lovely friends, Ruth and Barbara, who valiantly helped and supported me from conception to conclusion (they are 2nd and 3rd from the right in the photo above).  I couldn’t have done this without you!

 

I already have Murlough House booked for 2 more retreats in 2020!  So watch this space!

 

Happy sewing!

 

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Autumn Quilting Retreat Workshops


By Judith on September 16, 2019
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It was a milestone weekend in the Hollies’ household!

 

 

I dropped my baby off at University of Liverpool to start her 3 year degree, and came back to an empty nest.

 

 

I’ve had children at home for the past 24 years, so not having ‘on hand’ mummy duties and living alone for the first time (ever) will be quite an adjustment. But I know that once the grieving ends I will learn how to grow a new set of wings and step into new rhythms and adventures.

 

In the meantime I have lots of exciting work ventures to focus on, one being our inaugural Quilting Retreat next month.

 

In addition to oodles of time to sew, chat and relax, there are also 2 optional workshops to choose from.

 

Saturday Afternoon: Sashiko Cushion

 

Sashiko Cushion

 

The Japanese sashiko stitching trend has swept through the quilting world in recent years.

 

Sashiko Cushion

 

This is my simplified take on what can be beautifully intricate hand stitched Japanese designs, often based on themes of nature and geometric patterns.

 

Sashiko Cushion

 

At this workshop you will learn how to trace patterns onto traditional indigo backgrounds and how to make the sashiko stitches and designs.

 

Sashiko Cushion

 

Sunday Morning: Selvedge Projects

Quilters are a frugal lot, and we don’t like throwing away even small pieces of fabric!

 

Selvedges

 

So when it comes to selvedges, the edges of fabric that prevent it from fraying, to me they aren’t the pieces you trim off and throw in the bin, but rather the unsung treasures of your yardage!

 

Selvedge Basket

 

Selvedges not only display the colourful dye shades used in the print, but also the manufacturer and designer’s names and the name of the pattern.

 

Selvedge Basket

 

It can take a while to save up enough selvedges to make something from them, but don’t worry, at this workshop I will have lots of selvedges available.

 

Selvedge Pencil Case

 

At the workshop you will learn how to cut and sew selvedges with finished edges and how to stabilise them into a new piece of fabric for project making.

 

Selvedge Pouch

 

And you can choose to make a small basket, pencil case or project pouch.

 

So start looking at those selvedges differently and hoard them like precious treasure!

 

Those are the workshops taking place at our Quilting Retreat in October.  It’s going to be one fun and creative weekend!

 

Happy quilting!

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Autumn ’19 Workshops


By Judith on September 4, 2019
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This week saw the start of our new Autumn ’19 programme of weekly classes and workshops.

 

Autumn19 Saturday workshops

 

Here is a flavour of what we will be getting up to on Saturdays!

 

Rope Bowls Workshop Sept19

 

Booking available here

 

At this workshop you will find out how much fun you can have with cotton clothesline and a zigzag stitch!!

Previous Rope Bowls workshops have proven to be creative and productive, with everyone going home with several completed items.

You can read more about our Rope Bowls workshops here and here.

 

Dotti Denim Pouch Workshop

 

Booking available here

 

If you have a fear of zips then this is the workshop for you!!  At this workshop you will learn how to make a sizeable pouch and neatly insert a finished zipper.

 

You can upcycle denim for your pouch, or try out some durable cork fabric (available to purchase in class) or perhaps use up some pretty scraps!

 

 

Kids Pencil Case workshop

 

Booking available here

 

Bring along your young protege to learn how to sew their very own pencil cases (great gift ideas for friends too!).

At this workshop your child will learn how to cut and prepare fabric for piecing and pencil case construction, including inserting a zip!

This is a fun day out with your creative young person!

Children must be aged 9+

 

Robin Hoop Art Workshop

 

Booking available here

 

Hoop Art is a popular and satisfying way of creating textile art.

At this workshop you will learn how to layer a background, matchstick quilting, raw edge applique/free motion sketching and how to finish and mount your hoop.

A great little project for using up scraps of cotton, lace, ribbon and tweed.

8″ wooden hoops available to purchase in class.

 

So that’s the roundup of our Patchwork & Quilting Saturday workshops.  I hope you see something you like!

And come back soon for some exciting news on our new Autumn craft workshops!

 

Happy sewing!

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2019 Online Quilters Meet & Greet


By Judith on September 3, 2019
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Hi there, I’m taking part in Victoriana Quilt Designs 2019 Online Quilters Meet & Greet.  A special welcome to those visiting from Benita’s blog and taking part in her annual Meet & Greet Grand Prize Draw!

 

Just Jude Designs Classes & Workshops

 

By way of introduction, I’m Judith of Just Jude Designs.  I’m a Patchwork & Quilting Designer and Tutor working from my spacious studio in a beautifully converted Victorian linen mill in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

 

Conway Mill

 

I’ve been teaching now for 12 years, not only designing projects to teach but also designing quilting projects for magazines and a UK based fabric distributor.

 

Autumn Boho Quilt
Autumn Boho Quilt (Mama & Baby sizes). Pattern available here.

 

 

I’m particularly fond of sewing with scraps (I generate a lot of them in my line of work!) and this is reflected in many of my designs.

 

Sun, Sea and Sky Quilt (Quilt Now Magazine August17)
Sun, Sea & Sky Quilt for Quilt Now Magazine Aug’17. Pattern available here.
Popular Patchwork cover.July
Summer Starburst Quilt for Popular Patchwork June’16

 

Scrappy Strips Quilt (British P&Q Sept16)
Scrappy Strips Quilt for British P&Q Sept’16. Free tutorial here.
DP Table Runner & Mats (British Patchwork & Quilting, April'16)
Baubles Table Runner & Mats for British Patchwork & Quilting Magazine April’16. Pattern available here.

 

I wouldn’t say I have a particular ‘style’ to my quilts.  Sometimes I take inspiration from the fabrics themselves, or a themed brief from an editor, nostalgia or patterns I see in nature and objects around me.

 

Woodland Friends Quilt (Popular Patchwork, Oct issue)
Woodland Friends Quilt for Popular Patchwork Magazine Oct’16. Pattern available here.

 

 

Some of my best work comes from not having a design brief, and simply grabbing a handful of fabric or scraps and just allowing an organic creative process to develop!

 

Oriental Clamshells Quilt (Popular Patchwork Jan18)

 

I don’t always know what I’m going to end up with, but when I mix a little courage with an open mind, I’m rarely disappointed!

 

Denim Boro Bag
Denim Boro Bag. Pattern available here.

 

I’m also fond of recycling textiles in patchwork and quilting – linen, denim, tweed, wool and vintage sheets are particular favourites!

 

Harriet Hare in Tweed, Wool & Linen
Harriet Hare Cushion in Tweed, Wool & Linen. Pattern available here.
Vintage Sheets Cushions
Vintage Sheets Cushions

 

So that’s a little flavour of my patchwork & quilting life. You can read more about me here, and see more of my patterns here.

 

And if you would like to enter Benita’s Grand Prize Draw (4 pre-cut bundles, 3 Aurifil thread sets, Warm & Natural Batting, 2 Sewline Start sets & lifetime membership to Victoriana Quilt Designs) then just click on the button below to enter your details.  Winners will be announced by Benita on 1st October.

Happy quilting!

 

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Vintage Sheets Cushions Gifted!


By Judith on August 6, 2019
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Today I got to hand over 2 special gifts!

 

Vintage Sheets Cushions

 

Angie, my very good friend and fellow sewist, had been travelling for a year and before she left she gave me her precious and treasured stash of vintage sheets!

 

Vintage sheets

 

I too am a collector of vintage sheets, so I instantly understood the value and meaning of this archival gift.

 

When I protested to Angie that I couldn’t possibly accept her treasures, she jokingly said I could make her a cushion from them for when she returned.

 

Well she returned last month and I got to hand over the cushions today.  She was delighted!

 

Vintage Sheets Cushions

 

Among this vintage stash were lots of strips and smaller pieces.  So I went with ‘strippy’ friendly designs.

 

Vintage Sheets Cushions

 

I popped in a little table cloth embroidery to kick start this scrappy Log Cabin, one of my favourite quilt blocks.

 

Vintage Sheets Cushions

 

The quilting was sinple ‘echo’ quilting of the Log Cabin rounds and some of the bigger pieces went into the envelope back.

 

As you can see, I was having so much fun that I couldn’t possibly stop at just one cushion!

 

Vintage Sheets Cushions

 

The solid pink fabric in cushion number 2 was also in Angie’s vintage stash because it was edged with a sweet trim (used in the back).

 

Vintage Sheets Cushions

 

Using my ‘strip pieced block’ tutorial, I made 4 x 10″ blocks, joined them together, quilted them and then hand quilted some coordinating running stitches.

 

Vintage Sheets Cushions

 

A little crocheted scallop trim finished the cushions.

 

Vintage Sheets Cushions

 

I had so much fun making these, enjoying the vintage prints and softness, and reminiscing back to my childhood bed linen (oh those 1970’s purples!).

 

Thank you Angie for entrusting me with your vintage treasures and giving me an excuse to ‘play’!  I hope you too get new opportunities to ‘play’!

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Autumn Class Project: Soft Toys


By Judith on August 4, 2019
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It’s only 4 weeks until my Autumn term of classes starts back!

 

Autumn19 classes

 

Our classes are ‘open’, which means they are mixed ability and you can work on any Patchwork and Quilting project you like, getting all the help and support you need.

 

But I also provide an optional class project each term. These might focus on a new technique, one of my new patterns or a new challenge to keep growing those brain cells!

 

 

soft toys class project

 

In our new term we will be tackling soft toys!

I know these will be a hit with Grannies, Mummies and big kids alike!

 

I’ve curated 3 toy patterns from around the creative web to tempt my lovely ladies to try these cute 3d shapes!

 

Francie Fox:

Pattern available here (by Angela Lea Designs)

 

Francie Fox Class Project

 

This cute girl was a dream to make, following Angela Lea Designs’ fab pattern.

She finishes at 11.5″ tall and has moveable ‘arms’ and tail.

 

Francie Fox Class Project

 

I went a little less scrappy than the original pattern, but still had fun choosing from my Art Gallery scraps! Yum!

 

Ric Rac Trunk Show

Pattern available here (by Jodie Carleton)

 

Elephant Class Project

 

This little darling stands proud at 10″ and the pattern includes 3 trunk variations.

 

Elephant Class Project

 

It also includes an adorable ‘Elmer-esk’ patchwork version!

 

The Purl Bee Penguin

Free pattern available here (by Purl Soho)

 

Penguin Class Project

 

This cute little fella (I’m calling him Percy!) is the smallest of our curated toys, at only 9″ tall.

 

The free pattern and templates are really clear, and could be easily enlarged if you’re after a bigger penguin.

 

Penguin Class Project

 

So there you have it!

3 gorgeous soft toys to make, and 8 weeks in which to make them!

 

If you would like to enrol for a class, to make these soft toys or to work on your own project, you can get registered here (places are limited).

 

Happy sewing!

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Syringe Driver Bag Appeal 2


By Judith on July 11, 2019
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Almost 2 years ago I launched our first appeal for Syringe Driver Bags for Macmillan Cancer Care in Antrim Hospital.

 

Macmillan staff ‘modelling’ the bags!

 

As the name suggests, the bags carry Syringe Drivers, the vehicle for administering pain or sickness medication.  The patient receives the meds via a tube, which means they have to carry the Syringe Drivers around with them all the time.  Sometimes they have one syringe driver, sometimes 2.

 

Providing bright and colourful bags instead of the standard issue grey ones is a small way of bringing a little cheeriness to the patient, especially when they get to choose one they like!

 

 

For our first appeal we had a brilliant response from generous sewists across Northern Ireland.  So much so, we were able to pass on some bags to other palliative care units.

 

These bags can’t be reused, and the supply of bags from the first appeal has been exhausted.

 

Macmillan have asked us for more, so we are launching our 2nd Syringe Driver Bag Appeal!

 

 

If you have some sewing machine experience and cotton fabric, would you consider making one or two bags for those receiving palliative care or cancer treatment?  You can find the tutorial here.

 

Previously we have only made for adult males and females, but now we also have a request from The Children’s Hospice, N.I., so we can receive bags in child-friendly fabrics too!

 

I launched the 2nd appeal on Facebook 10 days ago and we’ve already received 25 bags!  THANK YOU!

 

I’ve always known how generous our sewing community is! Please, please help us to make many more bags!  The bags can be posted or delivered to me at home.  Email me at justjudedesigns@hotmail.co.uk for my address.

 

And if you live locally to Belfast, keep your eyes and ears open for an announcement about a free Syringe Driver Bag Workshop at our studio in Conway Mill!

 

Thank you!

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New Class: Denim Boro Bag


By Judith on June 9, 2019
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Following the immense fun I had making the patchwork denim pouch for my daughter’s friend, I just had to make a bag in the same boro style!

 

Denim Boro Bag

 

Oh I had a ball mixing one of my favourite textiles (denim) with one of my favourite pastimes (patchwork & quilting) while fulfilling one of my favourite values (recyling!).

 

Denim Boro Bag

 

This is a great project for using up all those torn and unwanted jeans, denim scraps and interesting bits!

 

Denim Boro Bag

 

If, like me, you love recycling and not adding to landfill, why not join us for some repurposing and patchwork fun at our Studio at Conway Mill, Belfast.

 

 

Over 5 Wednesday evenings I’ll show you how to reuse your old jeans to make a patchwork and quilted cross-body denim bag, with feature ‘boro’ stitching.

 

Denim Boro Bag

 

There’ll be lots of advice on the best threads and needles to use, how to quilt the denim, putting a zippered pocket into the lining, and how to make an adjustable shoulder strap.

 

Denim Boro Bag

 

If you too would like to have a ridiculous grin like mine (!!) come and join the repurposing fun!  Booking available here.

 

Happy recycling!

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Log Cabin Family of Blocks: Part 4


By Judith on May 27, 2019
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Welcome to the final part of my Log Cabin Family of Blocks series.

Part 1 (Log Cabin) available here

Part 2 (Courthouse Steps) available here

Part 3 (Pineapple) available here

(All sample blocks were made using Handmade fabrics by Makower)

 

Now in my introduction to this series, I described this part as the Mystery section!

That’s because this post is all about Partial Seams!

 

Partial Seams Variations

 

Just like the other Log Cabin Family members, in these examples fabric is pieced around a central shape.

 

1 Log Cabin

 

You may have noticed that the ‘logs’ in the Log Cabin block above are equal length in each round, unlike the Log Cabin Block from Part 1.

 

Partial Seams
Log Cabin Block: Part 4

Log Cabin Construction
Log Cabin Block: Part 1

 

This is made possible by starting each round with a partial seam (denoted here with the number 0.5 instead of 1!).

 

Partial Seams Construction

 

The first ‘log’ being attached is stitched only half way along the seam.  It is then pressed out allowing the 2nd ‘log’ to be fully attached.  This one is then pressed out before attaching log 3 and the same for log 4.  Now you can bring the unsewn section of log 1 right sides together to log 4 and finish sewing the starting (partial) seam.

 

Photo source: Pieced By Number

 

I love how clever this technique is.  Without prior knowledge of partial seams, it would be difficult to work out how to construct this block.  Therein lies the mystery!!

 

2. Rail Fence

In this example, the ‘rail fence’ sections are pieced separately, before being attached to the centre square.

 

Partial Seams

 

As before, the first seam will be a partial seam.

 

Partial Seams

 

(Tutorial for a similar block available here)

 

3. Hope of Hartford

 

As for the Rail Fence block above, the corner sections of this block are made separately, before being pieced around the centre square.

 

Partial Seams

 

(Tutorial available here)

 

4 Octagon

 

And just like a traditional Log Cabin block, you don’t have to start with a square!

The ‘logs’ in each round of this Octagon block start with a partial seam, just like the partial seams version of the Log Cabin block .

 

Partial Seams

 

Here is an example of a quilt I made using partial seams in the blocks:

 

Crossed Paths Quilt (Quilt Now Jan18)
Crossed Paths for Quilt Now Magazine

 

And to make the partial seams blocks a little easier to spot, here is a deconstructed block from the quilt:

 

 

Now that you know how easy partial seams are, I hope you won’t be put off trying a whole other range of blocks to enhance your quilts.

 

And check out my Pinterest Board for lots more fabulous examples of Partial Seams!

 

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Thank you for tuning in to my Log Cabin Family of Blocks series.

 

I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have!

 

Happy sewing!

 

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Log Cabin Family of Blocks: Part 3


By Judith on May 24, 2019
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Welcome to part 3 of my series on Log Cabin blocks (part 1 available here; part 2 available here).

 

 

So far we’ve looked at the variations within Log Cabin and Courthouse Steps blocks.

 

This post is all about the Pineapple Block.

 

Pineapple Block

 

Like me, you may be surprised that the Pineapple block is included in the Log Cabin family of blocks.

 

But there are definite similarities.  Fabric strips of equal width are added in rounds from the centre square outwards (just like Log Cabin or Courthouse Steps).

 

Pineapple Block construction

 

The main difference this time is each round is trimmed ‘on point’ to create a diamond shape, before the next round is added. By alternating the background and main fabrics each round, pineapple shapes start to emerge.

 

Photo Source: Pinterest

 

There are several ways to create the Pineapple Block:

 

1 Foundation Pieced:

 

For my block (above) I printed and enlarged a paper template and sewed directly onto the paper, only removing the paper on completion of the block.

 

While this is a time consuming method (especially for a full quilt!) it results in precision piecing and accurate points and edges.

 

(Tutorial and template available here)

 

2 No Foundation Papers:

 

Photo source: Crazy Mom Quilts

 

You don’t have to use foundation paper to make a Pineapple Block.  Click here for a great tutorial on the ‘trim as you go’ method by Crazy Mom Quilts.

 

3 Creative Grids Ruler

 

 

The clever peeps at Creative Grids have made the lives of Pineapple Block makers much easier with this fab trimming tool!

 

It looks complicated to use, but Jenny Doan makes light work of it in her video tutorial here.

 

Photo source: Missouri Star Quilt Co.

 

I love how cavalier the piecing can be with this method, and still end up with a beautifully accurate block!

 

This will definitely be my ‘go to’ method when I get around to making a Pineapple Quilt!

 

Photo source: The Work Room

 

I particularly love this pillow example of the Pineapple Block by The Work Room.

 

And you can see lots more wonderful Pineapple blocks and quilts to drool over on my Pinterest board here.

 

Thank you for tuning in!

 

Come back soon for my final (Mystery) part of the Log Cabin Family of Blocks.

 

Happy sewing!

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Spring into Summer ’19: Part 2


By Judith on May 7, 2019
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Hello again!

 

Welcome back to my Spring into Summer ’19 series of posts.

 

Spring into Summer 19 Table Display
Spring into Summer 19 Table Display

 

In part 1 (available here) we’ve covered items 1, 2, 10 & 12 on our display table.

Today it’s all about one of my favourite quilt and fabric designers, Lori Holt.

 

3 Farm Girl Vintage Book, by Lori Holt:

 

This is Lori’s first Farm Girl Vintage book of blocks which is no longer available in the UK (FGV2 is just about to hit the shops!).  I have sold quite a few in class already, and any that are left will be listed in our shop next week.

 

FGV shows you how to make all of the blocks shown on the front cover quilt, in both 6″ and 12″ size options.

 

The instructions and illustrations are really clear.  And at the back of the book there are several larger blocks & lots more patterns & ideas on how to use the blocks to make other projects like cushions and table runners.

 

4 Farm Girl Vintage inspired Table Runner:

 

Spring into Summer19 Display

 

I made a table runner using 5 x 12″ blocks from the FGV book. I chose blocks that followed a food/kitchen theme, and they were such fun to make.

 

Farm Girl Vintage 1 Table Runner

 

The pears are one of my favourite blocks in the book, and I’m working them into another bee quilt (a UFO Brit Bee quilt).

 

Brit Bee Block R4

 

5 Farm Girl Vintage Chick Cushion:

 

Easter Chick cushion

 

I first made this cushion for my Easter table display last year.  I turned a 12″ Chick block from the book into a quilted cushion.  Isn’t he cute!

 

6 Farm Girl Vintage Mama Hen Mat:

 

Mama Hen Kitchen mat

I fell in love with Mama Hen when I was helping to make a Siblings Together Quilt a few years ago.

 

It was a joy revisiting the block, this time turning it into a useful little kitchen mat.

 

Mama Hen Kitchen mat

 

And finally, the last item on display in my classroom from the Farm Girl Vintage book is my version of Lori’s Farmhouse Quilt pattern.

 

 

The Farmhouse block is one of the 14″ blocks in the book and all elements in my version of the quilt are included in the book.

 

FArm Girl Vintage1

 

So that brings part 2 to a close.

 

Next time, we continue the Lori Holt theme!  I hope you can call back again!

 

 

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Spring into Summer ’19: Part 1


By Judith on May 4, 2019
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Welcome to my Spring into Summer ’19 series, looking at the items on display in our studio for this new term.

 

First up is our display table (I’ll be mixing up the order as shown but stay with me!).

 

Spring into Summer 19 Table Display

 

I try to theme (or semi-theme) the table each term.  Apart from an obvious summery feel, I think you’ll see another theme emerging as we look at the items.

 

Spring into Summer '19

 

1 Aprons:

(Tie Back Apron pattern available here)

 

Apron Workshop Aug19

 

You may remember seeing my aprons on display last term.  I decided to leave my dressed mannequin again this term because we are running our 3rd Apron workshop in August (booking available here).  In this workshop you can choose from either a tie back apron (pictured) or the Japanese style cross back apron (see here).

 

2 Kids Tote Bags:

 

Kids Workshop May19

 

These simple and fun makes are samples for my upcoming children’s workshop.

 

 

I have 4 girls and 2 boys registered to learn how to use a sewing machine and let their textile creativity loose!

 

 

 

Children are a joy to teach because they don’t overthink it and are so creatively uninhibited!  We adults could learn alot from them!

 

10 Beach Bag:

 (pattern available here)

Beach Bag Workshop

 

This is my big and roomy beach bag (first featured in Pretty Patches magazine).  It features water resistant Rip-Stop Nylon lining, mesh or cotton exterior pockets and a detachable ‘wet bag’ for your soggy bikini, or drippy sun lotion bottles!

 

Beach Bag (Pretty Patches Aug16)

 

I’ve made a few of these practical bags over the years, and they’ve even been road tested by my girls on their holiday!

 

Bethany's Beach Bag

 

If you’d like to join us at our Beach Bag workshop, you can book in here.

 

12 Flex Frame Glasses Case:

(free tutorial available here)

 

Flex Frame Sunnies Pouch

 

If you need a secure glasses or sunglasses case, how about my flex frame glasses case.

 

Sunglasses flex frame pouch

 

The tutorial covers 2 sizes (the bigger size is for wrap around sunglasses which don’t fold flat) and the applique glasses template is also available.  You can purchase flex frames from here.

 

So that wraps up part 1 of Spring into Summer ’19.

 

Tune in again when we look at the inspiring creativity of one of my favourite quilt designers!

 

Happy sewing!

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Hello May!


By Judith on May 3, 2019
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Happy May to everyone!

 

I hope you all enjoyed your Easter break.

 

As a self-confessed workaholic I have to really focus on ‘not working’ and allowing my mind some down time (not easy for a self-employed sole trader!).

 

 

As part of my ‘word for the year’ – CULTIVATE, I’ve been working on cultivating rest and regeneration, not just physically but creatively and spiritually too.

 

I’m still learning how to do this well, and am very much a work in progress!  One way I’ve been doing this is by reading inspiring authors on personal leadership, like Brene Brown.

 

In her book ‘Daring Greatly’, Brene talks about the importance of being our vulnerable and authentic selves, not bowing to the ‘never (good, thin, happy, wealthy, successful ….) enough’ culture but instead resting in the knowledge that our best effort is always enough; we are enough. The strive for perfectionism and the glorification of busyness erodes the mental health of individuals, families, societies, nations. I know this to be true because I’ve seen it and I’ve felt it.

 

So if, like me, you want to learn how to cultivate authenticity, self-compassion, a resilient spirit, gratitude and joy, intuition and trust, meaningful work, creativity (yes!), and play and rest (yes, yes!) then I highly recommend to you Daring Greatly by Brene Brown.  Her honesty is refreshing and her professional research in vulnerabililty, shame and wholeheartedness eye opening!

 

“Dare to be the adults we want our children to be.” Brene Brown

 

 

Another opportunity for me to cultivate rest and regeneration comes with good weather, a beautiful location and a camera!

 

We were blessed over Easter with some cracking weather, which meant I could get out and about a bit with my camera.

 

Swan at Mount Stewart National Trust, Co. Down
Bangor Walled Garden
Bangor Walled Garden
Rowallane Gardens, National Trust, Saintfield
Rowallane Gardens, National Trust, Saintfield
Rowallane Gardens, National Trust, Saintfield

 

Mount Stewart, National Trust, Co. Down

 

Taking pictures enables me to notice details, to stay in the present, to connect my surroundings with those I’m with, to stop and smell the roses (sometimes literally!).

 

 

If you’ve never tried it, next time you go out to a beautiful park, garden, beach, woodland walk, bring a camera.  You don’t have to be skilled at taking the photos. But I guarantee your mental and emotional health will benefit greatly!

 

(All the photos I took are available here in my Facebook Albums)

 

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

 

A new month means a new Quilting Term of classes, workshops and endless creativity at the studio!

 

With each new term I switch out the quilts on display and re-theme the display table.

 

 

Over the next few posts I’ll show you what we have on display, and links to available patterns and tutorials.

 

So come back soon for the start of my Spring into Summer ’19 series!

 

Happy sewing!

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Folksy Tea Cosy Workshop Finishes


By Judith on April 14, 2019
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Yesterday we got all folksy at our Tea Cosy Workshop!

 

We were few in number, but the chatter and vibe was as warm and inviting as the cosies!

 

Folksy Tea Cosy Workshop

 

The raw edge applique was new to some, but with the easier option of top stitching also available, nothing held back these creative endeavours.

 

Folksy Tea Cosy Workshop

 

Aren’t they adorable!

 

Well done ladies on your cute cosies (I just know your tea will taste even better now!).

 

Folksy Tea Cosy

 

My Folksy Tea Cosy Pattern is available here, and includes a 2nd applique design and instructions on how to measure your teapot for a perfectly fitting cosy.

 

Happy sewing!

 

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Mother’s Day


By Judith on March 31, 2019
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Today in the UK it is Mother’s Day!

And this week I’ve had the best Mothers Day present ever!

 

Family Time Mar19

 

All my chicks are back home for a few days, yay!

 

It’s been so good to hang out together, laugh, be silly, and have precious family time, including the future sons-in-law!

 

Family Time Mar19

 

The times when we can all be together at the same time in the same place are becoming fewer, so we make sure we make up for it when we can!

 

Family Time Mar19

 

I’m not only blessed with a faithfully loving mum, but I also get the privelege of being a mum, 3 times over!

 

 

I was so excited in my first pregnancy to become a mum, but nothing prepared me for how tough the exhausting role of mother would be!

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

To be honest, I found the earlier years much harder than the teenage ones! I continually lacked confidence, never knew if I was doing the right thing, perpetual exhaustion, extreme loneliness and post natal depression all played their part.

 

 

Despite it being the toughest job I’ve ever had (the wages and pension benefits are rubbish!) it’s also been (& still is) the most rewarding. The thing about having kids is they force you to go beyond yourself, to step outside your comfort zones and defaults and face your weaknesses and selfishness.

 

Family Time Mar19

 

I’m thankful to my girls for stretching me and making me the person I am today.  They inspire me every day and I’m ridiculously proud of the beautiful women they are, inside and out.

 

Family Time Mar19

 

To all you mothers out there, you are amazing, keep going. It will be hard at times, but the rewards are deep and infinite. A great mother isn’t perfect (no such woman exists), she’s the one who gets up each morning and invests, sacrifices, referees, feeds, counsels, advises, all for no thanks, and then gets up again the next morning to do it all again!

 

You are awesome!

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Apron Workshop (1) Finishes


By Judith on March 16, 2019
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Last Saturday I ran the first of 3 Apron workshops!

 

Nine ladies stitched their little hearts out on either my Tie Back Apron pattern or the Japanese Cross Back Apron.

 

Apron Workshop

 

Aren’t they fab!

 

Every seam in these aprons are finished to perfection! And they are easily adapted to suit every body shape too!

 

Apron Workshop

 

If you would like to make your own stylish apron, then why not join in with one of the next 2 workshops, booking available here.

 

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Spring Class Project: Wefty Weaving


By Judith on February 9, 2019
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Already we are coming to the end of our first block of 2019 classes.  This week we will wrap up our Necessary Clutch wallets and New Year projects.

 

I can’t wait to show you all the finished clutches!

 

And I’m a little bit excited to show you our (optional) class project for the Feb-April block.

 

Wefty Weaving info

 

In our next block of classes I will be showing 3 different weaving techniques, 2 of which use the Wefty Weaving Needle.

 

 

A Wefty Needle comes in 2 sizes, 1″ and 0.5″ and enables weaving both simple and complex designs with little/no fabric waste.

 

Once you have a deliciously woven panel you can turn it into a pretty basket, a tactile cushion, a useful notebook cover, anything you like!

 

I’ll have notes available on how to make my 3 examples, but you don’t have to stick to these projects.  Just check out my Weaving Pinterest Board for lots more mind blowing inspiration!

 

Linen Basket Weave Cushion

 

Basket Weave Linen Cushion

 

This is a beginner friendly project, keeping the strips wider and easy to weave into a traditional basket weave pattern.

 

Basket Weave Linen Cushion

 

We don’t use the Wefty Needle on this project, a large safety pin will suffice, though there will be a little fabric waste at the end of each woven strip.

 

Basket Weave Linen Cushion

 

And if you haven’t already them sussed, how about trying some buttonholes and self covered buttons as your cushion closure?

 

Houndstooth Journal Cover

 

Wefty Woven Notebook Cover

 

These 0.5″ strips are woven with the Wefty Needle into a houndstooth pattern.

 

Again we are using a traditional basket weave here, but clever placement of strips produces the secondary pattern.

 

Wefty Woven Notebook Cover

 

I turned my woven panel into a journal cover (my notebook cover pattern is available here), but you could easily use this as a decorative panel in a bag or add some borders for a textured placemat or cushion.

 

Wefty Woven Notebook Cover

 

 

Triaxial Woven Basket

 

Triaxial Woven Basket

 

Triaxial means 3 angles.  Unlike a basket weave (with only vertically and horizontally woven strips) triaxial weaving involves strips woven at vertical and 2 thirty degree angles.

 

Triaxial Woven Basket

 

For my cute basket I’ve used the 1″ Wefty Needle.  Triaxial weaving is more complex than basket weaving designs, but once you get your head around it, there are many more amazing designs which can be produced from the 3 angles.

 

Triaxial Woven Basket

 

So if you fancy a spot of weaving over the next 7 weeks, or just want to carve out some therapeutic sewing time to work on other projects, why not come join the fun and book into one of our 6 weekly classes.

 

And it’s now easier than ever to register for a class, using our new online registration system.

 

Happy weaving!

 

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New Year Table Display: Part 2


By Judith on January 20, 2019
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(Read part 1 here)

Thank you for tuning back for part 2 of my classroom’s New Year Table Display.

 

New Year 19 Display Table

 

8  Placemats

(pattern available here)

 

P1130144

 

I made these Irish linen & French General placemats for a class a few years ago now, using up some leftover Jelly roll strips and linen offcuts.

 

placemats

 

But they seem to have a classic timelessness and were my best seller on Craftsy (before Craftsy deleted 95% of my patterns last month!).

 

They include a handy cutlery pocket, and showcase the different ways you can have fun quilting them!

 

PicMonkey Collage

 

I have fond memories of past classes making these!

 

9  Moroccan Mix Table Runner & Trivet

 

Moroccan Mix Table Runner

 

This is my celebration of the wonderful colours of Morocco, a Moroccan Mix table runner & trivet published in a colourful issue of Quilt Now in 2015!

 

Moroccan Mix Table Runner

 

It’s another one of my patterns awaiting reformatting for general resale (anyone got a few minions to spare!!!).

 

Moroccan Mix Trivet

 

I would love to remake it in a completely different colourway (perhaps inspired by another country!).  All suggestions welcome!

 

Moroccan Mix Trivet

 

10  Microwave Bowl Cosies

(free tutorial available here)

 

These are a little difficult to see in the main photo.  But here they are up close!

 

Microwave Bowl Cosy
Microwave Bowl Cosy

 

I first came across this tutorial several years ago, and made myself a couple for my morning porridge bowl!  I haven’t stopped using them since!

 

The recommended materials are all 100% cotton (including the wadding) if you plan to put the cosies into the microwave.

 

Microwave Bowl Cosy

 

But don’t worry, if you don’t have 100% cotton materials, simply heat up your bowl separately in the microwave and carefully lift it out into the cosy!

 

Then you can transport your comforting bowl of goodness to your favourite spot!  Great for soup too (and hot apple crumble, yum!).

 

Microwave Bowl Cosy

 

11  Cutlery Trays

(free tutorial available here)

 

Cutlery Trays

 

Ayumi’s brilliant tutorial is for the largest tray you see here.  They are so easy to make and resize to suit your own requirements (keep the width the same, and simply shorten the length: L:13″, M:10.5″, Sml:7.5″).

 

Cutlery Trays

 

The changes I made to the pattern were to use Flex Foam Bosal instead of wadding, to give more structure, and to sew a few stitches at the corners to help them retain their shape.

 

Cutlery Trays

 

I’m sure like me you can think of a multitude of uses for these handy organisers (desk tidies perhaps?).

 

12 Pixie Cups

(free tutorial here)

 

And keeping with the organising theme, how cute are these!

 

 

Pixie Cups

 

These are literally made from scraps – Tilda and leather scraps from other projects, and offcuts of Flex Foam Bosal.

 

Pixie Cups

 

The bosal was a little tricky to work with when it came to the smallest basket! But I think this will be the case with any interfacing stiff enough to give these little pots the structure they need.  Just cut your interfacing smaller to try and keep whatever interfacing you use, out of the seams.

 

Pixie Cups

 

13  Casserole Carrier

(free tutorial here)

 

Casserole Carrier

 

If you know someone in need of a meal, or you’re helping out a friend, here’s a great way to transport it.

 

Casserole Carrier

 

Using Insul Bright heat resistant wadding, your casserole will stay warmer for longer in this carrier.

 

The construction is quick and simple.  One change I would make to the pattern is to shorten the handle (I feel it’s a little too long and ‘swingy’ for it’s heavy load!).

 

Casserole carrier

So that’s the full roundup of my New Year Display Table.

Thank you so much for sticking it out to the end of 2 lengthy posts!

I hope you’ve been inspired to try something new!

Happy sewing!

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New Year Table Display: Part1


By Judith on January 14, 2019
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We are well into our stride again with the new term of classes.

So it’s time to show you my New Year Display Table!

 

New Year 19 Display Table

 

I’ve gone for a ‘kitchen’ theme this term, getting you inspired to pretty up your table and domestic space, as well as lots of gift ideas for those friends who love being in their kitchen!

 

So let’s get started!

 

1  Trivet Mats

 

EPP Trivet Mats

 

Over the years I have gathered up lots of free EPP (English Paper Piecing) packs and templates, most of which came free with quilting magazines.

 

EPP

 

Often there is a useful little book or pattern ideas that come with them, and I spent my free time over Christmas doing some relaxing hand sewing, and having fun with my Tilda scraps.

 

Trivet Mats

 

I used some Essex Yarn Dyed linen (Flax and Denim) for the backgrounds, appliqued and quilted them onto Polyester Insulating Wadding (available here) and made my own bias binding to finish.

 

Trivet Mats

 

I purposely used the thicker poly wadding (also used in oven gloves) to give my mats some durability when being used as trivets.  I also love the lush texture you get from the denser batting.

 

Trivet Mats

 

You could easily replace this wadding with Insul Bright heat resistant wadding and turn them into placemats (all materials mentioned are machine washable).

 

2  Aprons

 

I have 2 types of Aprons on display, and I will be teaching them both as a Saturday workshop on 9th March.

 

Apron workshop

 

The popular Cross Back apron is available here.

The pattern for my Tie Back apron will be coming soon (adult and child sizes will be available).

 

apron in a jar 005

 

This apron is designed to fit into a decorative mason jar so it can be gifted!

Cute or what!

 

3  Lunchbags (2 styles)

 

 (Pattern coming soon)

 

Lunchbags

 

I had a lot of fun designing these lunchbags several years ago for Popular Patchwork magazine.

 

Lunchbags

 

The raw edge applique designs can be child or adult friendly (or you could even made a patchwork version – that’s next on my list!).

 

Lunchbags

 

Both bags are insulated with Insul Bright heat resistant wadding, and the linings are made from wipeable Rip-stop nylon (or you could re-purpose a machine washable shower curtain!).

 

Lunchbags

 

The pattern (includes both styles) is currently being tested and will be available soon.

 

4  Teabag Wallet

 

(free tutorial available here)

 

Teabag wallet

 

I’m not a tea drinker, but I have family and friends who not only love their tea, but like something a little more ‘individual’.

 

Teabag Wallet Tutorial

 

These portable (and uber cute!) little wallets will hold 4 individually wrapped teabags, in all your favourite flavours.

 

Teabag Wallet Tutorial

 

They are ridiculously easy to make (all the pieces are cut the same size!) and would make great little gifts for tea lovers everywhere!

 

5  Oven Gloves

(free tutorial available here)

 

Oven Gloves

 

For a long time now, I’ve badly needed to replace my tatty old oven gloves.

Like my trivet mats, I have used Polyester Insulating wadding in these oven gloves (also known as ‘oven glove wadding’!!).

 

Oven Gloves

 

The quilting and assembly of the gloves is straightforward, and I used pre-made bias binding to finish.

 

Oven Gloves

 

Only problem is, with the way that I cook, these are just waaaaaay too nice to risk the kind of food mess that I’m particularly good at!!

 

6  Tea Cosy

(pattern available here)

 

Folksy Tea Cosy Workshop

 

I’ll be running my Folksy Tea cosy pattern as a Saturday workshop in April.

 

I originally designed this for Sewing World magazine, and it combines insulating wadding and fun felt applique.

 

Folksy Tea Cosy

 

The pattern takes you through how to measure your teapot and calculate your bespoke teacosy measurements.  It also includes the additional applique design ‘Sit Long Talk Much’.

 

Tea cosy class sample

 

7  Bottle Carrier

 

(free tutorial available here)

 

 

Bottle Holder

 

If you like to take a bottle of wine round to a friend’s house, or to your favourite ‘BYO’ restaurant, then you might find this reusable bottle carrier a handy addition to your kitchen cupboard.

 

Bottle Holder

 

One fat quarter will make the whole carrier, but why not jazz it up with a contrast fabric!

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

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed part 1 of my New Year Display Table roundup.

Do come back again for more kitchenalia tutorials and patterns in part 2.

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2018 Roundup & Happy New Year!


By Judith on December 31, 2018
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It’s the final few hours of 2018.  At the end of each year I like to do a little round-up of things I’ve made.

Understandably, the majority of my makes have centred around my classes.

The statistics are quite something (ah, so that’s why I’m so tired, wink, wink!!):

 

5 Class Projects:

(taught at 6 weekly classes, over 38 weeks)

2018 class projects

 

12 Saturday Workshops:

 

2018 Saturday workshops

 

11 Free Tutorials:

(available here)

2018 Tutorials

 

23 New Pattern Releases:

(available here)

2018 New Patterns

 

What an amazing year it has been, both inside the classroom and outside it!

 

Patchwork in the Peaks 14

 

One of my professional highlights in 2018 was attending Patchwork in the Peaks Quilters Retreat, Morzine, France, as guest tutor.

 

And on a personal level, hosting a memory quilt party for my special friend’s 50th birthday in February was a wonderful day!

 

Shirleys Friendship Birthday Quilt

 

Helping 2 charities, Shared Threads and Flourish, launch their new sewing initiatives, both aimed at improving the lives of women, locally and internationally was (and continues to be) a pleasure and a privilege.

 

Shared Threads
Shared Threads Drawstring Bags

 

Among the many highs and lows that come in a year, I’m reminded of my ‘word for the year’ back in January ’18 – RHYTHM.

 

I set a word at the start of each year to give me a focus to my professional and life goals.

 

After a massive year of change in 2017, I feel I definitely achieved some rhythm, allowing life to settle some, and to get into my stride with the new classroom and home.

 

Of course there were still changes in 2018, some happy, some sad, some expected, some unexecpted; the normalcy of life demands it.

 

But amidst it all, I have much to be thankful for and am content to leave 2018 with a smile, and embrace the exciting new chapter that is 2019.

 

Come back soon to find out all about my word for 2019!

 

In the meantime ……

 

Happy New Year!

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Christmas Baubles Roundup


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

 

Christmas Baubles

 

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

 

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

 

Zippy Baubles Pouches

(great for gifting money or vouchers)

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

 

Bauble Zippy pouches

 

Stitchy Trees

Free tutorial available here

 

Stitchy Christmas Trees

 

Christmas Cornets

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

 

Christmas Baubles

 

Mini Hoops

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

 

Christmas Baubles

 

‘Oh My Eye’ Birds

(2 sizes)

Pattern available here

 

Christmas Baubles

Christmas Baubles

 

Star Pentagon Decoration

Free pattern available here

 

Christmas Baubles

 

Faux Cathedral Windows Decoration

Free pattern available here

 

Christmas Baubles

 

 

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

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

 

Happy sewing!

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Scandi Christmas Stocking Workshop


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

 

Scandi Stocking Workshop Nov18

 

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

 

Scandi Stocking Workshop Nov18

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

 

Aren’t they fabulous!

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

 

Well done everyone!

 

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

 

 

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

 

Happy sewing!

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Christmas Table Display: Part 2


By Judith on October 31, 2018
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Welcome back to part 2 of my Christmas Table Display! (part 1 available here)

 

Christmas Table Display 18

 

I’ve had great reactions to my Christmas display in my classes this week.

I hope you enjoy reading about them too!

 

6 Festive Stars Table Runner

(pattern available here)

 

Christmas Table Runner Class sample

 

This is one of my newest patterns available for general release!

 

It is a ‘charm pack friendly’ project, but the pattern also includes yardage quantities to make the runner  in 3 feature fabrics.

 

I’ve seen my runner made in non-Christmas fabrics (I love seeing different interpretations of the same pattern!), and I have this variation done in Retro 30’s prints hanging up in class.

 

Economy Stars Table Runner

 

7 Christmas Gift Bags

(free tutorial available here)

 

Christmas gift bags tutorial

 

This is another ‘Eco Friendly’ way to ‘gift wrap’ a smaller present. Waaaaay nicer than paper which gets torn up and thrown away!

 

I’ve made so many of these easy peasy bags, housing sweet jams or chutneys, sumptuous bubble baths and creams or decadent chocolates and liqueurs!

 

Drawstring Gift Bag

 

So if you want to ‘upgrade’ a small gift into a ‘wow’ gift, give my drawstring gift bags a try!

 

8 Zippered Bauble Pouches

(free tutorial available here)

 

Bauble Zippy pouches

 

The link above is to the Easter Egg version of these pouches, but simply draw a circle instead of an egg and follow the same tutorial.

 

If you know someone who prefers money or gift vouchers (or diamonds!) pop them into this compact pouch.  The addition of a key-fob attachment turns it into a useful little coin purse!

 

Christmas Bauble pouch

 

Then hang them on the tree, or stuff into stockings and wait for the smiles!

 

9 Christmas Coasters

(no pattern available)

 

Christmas coasters

 

These 5″ Christmas themed coasters are made using the foundation paper piecing method and are great for using up small Christmas scraps!

 

Christmas coasters

 

I first saw them here, but the link to the maker’s website is no longer available.

 

However, if you are attending my classes, I can easily take you through the making of these!

 

10 Christmas Cracker Tree Skirt

(pattern available here)

 

Christmas Cracker Tree Skirt (class project)

 

This fun tree skirt forms part of our class project this term.

 

The pattern is by my talented quilty friend, Reene, and you can read more about this project here.

 

Well I hope my Christmas table display and projects has fueled your Christmas inspiration and motivation!

 

With less than 8 weeks to go til the big day, I guess we’d better get our sewing machine ‘skates’ on!

 

Happy sewing!

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Christmas Table Display: Part 1


By Judith on October 29, 2018
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My new block of classes started back this week, and I have a few surprises in store for my ladies!

 

The first surprise is the change to my table display.

 

Christmas Table Display 18

 

Not hard to guess what theme I’m going for here!

 

This is the first of 2 posts that will take you through most of the items on display, giving you links to patterns and tutorials along the way!

 

So let’s get started!

 

1 Scandi Stocking

(pattern available here)

(Dyslexic friendly pattern available here)

 

Scandi Stocking Dec Issue Sewing World Magazine

 

My Scandi Stocking pattern was first published in Sewing World magazine several years ago.

 

It combines one of my favourite fabrics, Essex Yarn Dyed Linen, with Makower’s gorgeous Scandi Christmas fabrics.

 

Scandi applique

 

A little fussy cutting and simple applique add manageable and fun stages to this project.

 

Which is why I decided to run it as a Saturday workshop, on 17th November. (Full kits are available for those attending the workshop, but any leftover kits will be offered out!).

 

Only 1 place left on the workshop – get in touch if you would like to join us for some festive fun!

 

2 Mini Christmas Stockings

(free tutorial available here)

 

Christmas Stocking Workshop Dec12

 

If you have a small present to gift why not pop it into a cute mini stocking!

 

Stockings for Fabric Yard

 

These mini projects are great for using up scraps, leftover jellyroll or binding strips. And you can patchwork & quilt them anyway you like!

 

3 Dresden Coasters

(pattern available here)

 

EPP Dresden Christmas Coasters

 

If you fancy a little hand sewing in your Christmas crafting, how about some Dresden coasters.  The blades are English Paper Pieced for accuracy, and the rest is done on the machine.

 

EPP Dresden Christmas Coasters

 

Again, these made their debut in Sewing World  magazine. I used more Essex Linen here, this time Black, with a few leftover Christmas 5″ charm squares.

 

EPP Dresden Christmas Coasters

 

Of course you could make these anytime of the year, making the dresden blades in non-Christmas fabrics.

 

4 Robin Cushion

(Pattern available here)

 

Christmas Robin Cushion pattern

 

This cute fellow first appeared in Pretty Patches magazine, and has been a big hit ever since!

He is a mixed textile cushion, making him super tactile and cuddly!

If you like mixing in a little tweed, wool or linen with your cottons, then you will love making this Rockin’ Robin!

 

Christmas Robin Cushion for Pretty Patches (Dec16)

 

I have used satin stitch applique here, but you could easily use raw edge applique or blanket stitch applique (more guidelines on machine applique here).

 

5 Christmas Baubles Cushions

(pattern to come)

 

Christmas Baubles Cushions

 

I first made a Christmas Baubles cushion for a Brit Bee friend as part of a secret santa cushion swap several years ago!

These are great fun to make because there is no end to the ‘style’ of bauble you can have.

And you can let your creative ‘quilting’ juices flow too when it comes to the quilting.

One day I will get around to writing a pattern for these cushions – it’s on the long list!

 

So that’s the end of part 1!

Tune in again for part 2 and my 2nd surprise reveal!

Happy sewing!

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Class Project: Christmas Tree Skirt


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

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

 

xmas tree skirts (class project)

 

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

 

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

 

Christmas Cracker Tree Skirt (class project)

 

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

 

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

 

Christmas Cracker Tree Skirt (class project)

 

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

 

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

 

Christmas Cracker Tree Skirt (class project)

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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Patchwork in the Peaks 14: Part 2


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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

QAYG Pouch (Peaks14)

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

QAYG Pouch (Peaks14)

 

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

 

Aaaahhhhh! Sunshine in a pouch!

 

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

 

Denim Pouch (Peaks14)

 

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

 

Denim Pouch (Peaks14)

 

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

 

Denim Pouch (Peaks14)

 

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

 

Denim Pouch (Peaks14)

 

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

 

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

 

Repurposed Denim thread catcher (Peaks 14)

 

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

 

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

 

Vintage Brown Log Cabins (Peaks 14)

 

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

 

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

 

Vintage Brown Log Cabins (Peaks 14)

 

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

 

Thanks for tuning in!

 

Happy sewing!

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Tweed Applique Bag


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

 

Lots of trees down and debris scattered everywhere.

 

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

 

Denim applique bag

 

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

 

Tweed Applique Bag

 

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

 

Tweed Applique Bag

 

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

 

Tweed Applique Bag

 

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

 

Tweed Applique Bag

 

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

 

Tweed Applique Bag

 

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

Happy sewing!

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Autumn Table Projects Part 2


By Judith on September 12, 2018
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Hello there!

 

As promised, I’m back to tell you about the rest of the projects on my Autumn Table!

 

Autumn18 Table Display

 

(you can read all about projects 1-5 here)

 

6. Denim Washbag:

 

Denim Washbag

 

My love of repurposing denim gets everywhere!

 

Unfortunately I don’t have a pattern written up yet for this project, but I’m currently working on a new Denim Pouch Bag, so stay tuned for new ways to upcycle your denim.

 

7. Stacked Coins Cushion

(pattern available here)

 

Scrappy Stacked Coins Cushion

 

I had so much fun making this cushion for my Scrap Busting Saturday last month.

 

Scrappy Stacked Coins Cushion

 

I have soooooooo many scraps I was able to ‘stack my coins’ into 10 colourways, 5 in the front and 5 in the back!

 

Scrappy Stacked Coins Cushion

 

The pattern includes a nifty step by step guide on how to put a zipper into your cushion.

 

Scrappy Stacked Coins cushion

 

And don’t worry if you don’t have as many ‘organised’ scraps as me, you can go completely random and throw everything (and the kitchen sink!) in!

 

8. Zippy pouches

(Easy Peasy Pouch pattern available here)

 

Easy Peasy Zippered Pouch Workshop

 

(Gracie Pouch pattern available here)

 

The Gracie Pouch Workshop

 

Another successful workshop last month was my Zippy Pouches day!

 

This was all about conquering the ‘fear of the zipper’, and adding more fabulous gift making ideas to the repertoire!

 

Easy Peasy Zippered Pouch Workshop

 

The Easy Peasy Pouch is a great beginner friendly pattern on which to cut your zippy teeth on (2 sizes available)!

 

The Gracie Pouch Workshop

 

And if you’re feeling a little more adventurous, try the roomy Gracie Pouch (also available in 2 sizes).

 

9. Tissue Box Covers

(free tutorial available here)

 

Tissue Box Cover Tutorial

 

Aren’t these much better looking than cardboard tissue boxes!

 

Tissue Box Cover Tutorial

 

And the great thing about this tutorial is you can cover any size box, with my handy ‘made to measure’ table!

 

10. Hot Water Bottle Cover

(pattern available here)

 

Hot Water Bottle Cover Pattern

 

As temperatures are cooling, how cosy would it be to snuggle up in the evening with a soothing hot water bottle and a great read.

 

Hot Water Bottle Cover Pattern

 

This cover fits a standard size hot water bottle, and if you line it with Insul Bright heat resistant wadding, your bottle stays warmer for longer!

 

And a great gift idea, don’t you think!

 

So there we have it!  My Autumn Table Roundup full of ideas and inspiration this new season.

 

Thank you for tuning in!

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Autumn Table Projects Part 1


By Judith on September 6, 2018
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Hello there!

And hello September!

 

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

 

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

 

Autumn18 Table Display

 

1: French Braid Handbag

(Pattern available here)

 

Scrappy French Braid Bag (workshop)

 

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

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

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

2: Denim Messenger Bag

(pattern coming soon)

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

 

Messenger Bag (Pretty Patches June16)

 

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

 

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

 

Bethany's Messenger Bag 009

messenger bag 007

Messenger bag commission

 

3: ‘Quilt As You Go’ Shopping Bag

(Pattern available here)

 

 

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

 

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

 

4: Rope Bowls

Rope Bowls Workshop

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

 

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

 

Rope Bowls Workshop Aug18

 

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

 

5: Chenille (Cushion or Bath mat)

(Cushion pattern available here)

 

Chenille

 

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

 

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

 

Chenille class sample

 

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

Chenille quilted bath mat

 

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

 

Tune in later this week for more project inspiration!

 

Happy sewing!

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Tissue Box Cover Tutorial


By Judith on August 20, 2018
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It’s about time I posted another tutorial here, don’t you think?

 

Tissue Box Cover Tutorial

 

Before all the sniffles and colds get going, how about pretty, quilted tissue box covers.  I’d much rather see pretty fabric sitting in my room, than a functional cardboard box!

 

Tissue Box Cover Tutorial

 

And this tutorial will explain how to cover a box of any size, so let’s get started!

 

You Will Need:

 

Exterior Fabric

Lining Fabric

Wadding

Heavy Sew-In Vilene

Non-permanent fabric marker

Cardboard or template plastic

 

Measure your box:

 

Tissue Box Cover Tutorial

 

Take measurements A (short side), B (long side) and C (top).  Then add 3/4″ (0.75″) to each measurement (1/2″ for seam allowances, 1/4″ for ease) to get the cutting out sizes.

 

You can see my measurements in the example below:

 

Tissue Box Cover Tutorial

 

Cutting Out:

 

So now that you have the cutting out measurements you can either ….

 

apply all measurements to your exterior fabrics, lining fabric, wadding and heavy sew-in vilene

 

Tissue Box Cover Tutorial

 

OR

 

instead of cutting out the sides, cut and baste an 11″ x 12″ piece of exterior fabric, wadding and sew-in vilene.  Once quilted, this is big enough to cut out all 4 sides.

 

 

You will also need this template for the openings.  I use the larger shape for rectangular boxes and the smaller shape for cube boxes.  Cut out the openings and transfer them to card or template plastic.

 

Make It:

 

Use 1/4″ seams

 

1  If you haven’t already done so, spray baste the exterior fabrics, wadding and vilene together.

 

2 Quilt as desired (I marked and quilted a 1.5″ diagonal grid, see photo above).

 

 

3 Pin an exterior short side (A) right sides together with the exterior top (C). With a pen, mark 1/4″ in from each corner on the short side (wrong side).

 

 

4 Sew from marker to marker, starting and finishing with a reverse stitch. Repeat for the other short side.

 

 

5 Press the short ends out before attaching the long sides in the same way (remember to mark your 1/4″ points).

 

 

6 Repeat steps 3-5 for the lining pieces.

 

 

7 Find the middle of the lining top piece (I simply folded it in half lengthways and widthways and finger pressed).

 

 

8 Centre your chosen template opening onto the wrong side of the lining top piece and draw around it.

 

 

9 Pin the exterior and lining pieces right sides together. Sew along the drawn line, starting and finishing with a reverse stitch.

 

 

10 Carefully cut out the opening, leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance. Snip at 1cm intervals all the way around the opening, taking care not to cut into the stitches.

 

 

11 Push the lining through the opening and all the way round to the back of the exterior. Iron around the opening to neaten.

 

 

12 Top stitch around the opening, 1/8″ from the edge.

 

 

13 Pin the exterior sides right sides together. Sew adjacent exterior sides together, sewing from the top down to the 1/4″ marker (fold the top piece out of the way so you can get right down to the 1/4″ marker). Start and finish with a reverse stitch.

 

Tissue Box Cover Tutorial

 

14 Repeat step 13 for the lining pieces.

 

 

15 Turn the exterior right side out, by folding it out over the lining. On the inside you should be able to see the right side of the lining.

 

16 Push the lining well into the corners of the exterior cover.  Pop in the tissue box and trim off any excess cover and lining level with the edge of the box.

 

 

17 Machine tack (large stitch) around the raw edges 1/8″ from the edge.

 

 

18 Make enough double fold quilt binding to get around the bottom edges with a couple of inches overlap.  Attach, join and finish the binding as you would for a quilt.

 

Pop in the tissue box and adorn your bedside table!

 

Tissue Box Cover Tutorial

 

Or how about a scrappy tissue box cover ….

 

QAYG Tissue box cover

 

…. or have some free motion sketching fun!

 

Tissue Box Cover Tutorial

 

Whatever shape or design you choose for your cover, have lots of fun!

 

Happy sewing!

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‘Wee Coloured Houses’ Birthday Pouch


By Judith on August 14, 2018
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A good friend of mine recently celebrated a milestone birthday.

 

Now this friend is uber creative and talented, especially when it comes to ceramics.

 

Rachel has a workshop in Conway Mill, just 2 floors above me, and makes the most stunning ceramic house pictures and brooches #weecolouredhouses

 

I’m lucky to be the proud owner of 2 such creations!

 

'Wee Coloured Houses' by Rachel Julca

'Wee Coloured Houses' by Rachel Julca

 

So from one maker to another, I knew my gift had to be handmade!

 

Wee Coloured Houses Pouch (birthday gift)
approx 12″ x 8″

 

My ‘Wee Coloured Houses’ pouch is inspired by Rachel’s adorable little houses. They have been free motion sketched onto Essex Yarn Dyed Linen (Flax).  Those tiny windows were a challenge!!

 

Wee Coloured Houses Pouch (birthday gift)

 

I know Rachel loves colour, so I went with a patchworked back and a bright, funky lining.

 

Wee Coloured Houses Pouch (birthday gift)

Wee Coloured Houses Pouch (birthday gift)

 

So here’s to many more creative years Rachel!

 

 

And if you would like to purchase one of Rachel’s pictures or commission her for a custom order, you can contact her here.

 

Also, keep an eye out for her at Frock Around the Clock Fares and the Fine & Dandy Markets, as well as seeing her stock in The Designerie (Bushmills), Belfast City Airport, The Crafty Barn (Carlingford) and Klover (Hillsborough) to name a few!

 

Happy sewing!

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A 60’s Revival Tunic!


By Judith on August 5, 2018
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Hi there!

 

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

 

Scrap busting Saturday Aug18

 

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

 

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

 

And speaking of fabric rejuvenating!

 

No 2 The ’60’s Revival’ Tunic!

 

60's Revival Tunic Aug18

 

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

Yes you heard right!

I LOVE CRIMPLENE!

 

60's Revival Tunic Aug18

 

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

 

60's Revival Tunic Aug18

 

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

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

 

60's Revival Tunic Aug18

 

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

 

Hippy mug

 

Happy sewing!

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My ‘Hippy Granny’ Tunic!


By Judith on July 31, 2018
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Hi there!

How is your summer going?

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Liberty Summer Tunic

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Hippy Granny Tunic

 

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

 

Hippy Granny Tunic

 

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

 

Hippy Granny Tunic

 

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

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

 

Hippy Granny Tunic

 

And for tunic no.2?

 

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

 

Happy sewing!

 

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Patchwork In The Peaks 2018


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

 

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

 

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

Holiday July18

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Denim applique bag

 

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

 

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

Happy sewing!

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Scrappy Rail Fence Block Tutorial


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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

  • Summer Rail Fence Quilt (Pretty Patches Aug16)

 

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

Summer Rail Fence Quilt (Pretty Patches Aug16)

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

Summer Rail Fence Quilt (Pretty Patches Aug16)

 

Happy scrapping!

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Real Women Have Curves Part 2


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

 

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

 

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

 

Well just take a look at these!

 

Butterfly Garden Class June18
Butterfly Garden Class June18

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Butterfly Garden DP Quilt (class project)

 

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

 

Happy quilting!

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Shared Threads – Drawstring Bag Tutorial


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

 

Shared Threads Drawstring Bags

 

You Will Need:

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

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

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

safety pin

 

Method:

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

6 Turn the bag right sides out and press well.

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

And you’re finished!

 

Shared Threads Drawstring Bags

 

 

Thank you for supporting Shared Threads.

 

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Machine Sewing for Beginners


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

 

Machine Sewing for Beginners Class May13

 

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

 

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

 

Week 1:

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

 

 

 

Week 2:

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

 

 

Week 3:

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

 

 

 

Weeks 4-5:

  • Project: Single skein cushion cover with a zippered back

 

Single Skein Zippered Cushion Cover

 

Extra Info:

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

 

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

 

Happy sewing!

 

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Rope Bowls Workshop


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

 

Rope Bowls Workshop

 

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

 

Rope Bowls Workshop

 

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

 

Rope Bowls Workshop

 

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

 

Rope Bowls Workshop

 

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

 

Rope Bowls Workshop

 

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

 

Happy sewing!

 

 

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Easy Peasy Pouches Workshop


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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Easy Peasy Zippered Pouch Workshop

 

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

 

Easy Peasy Zippered Pouch Workshop

 

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

 

The Gracie Pouch Workshop

 

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

 

The Gracie Pouch Workshop

 

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

 

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

 

Happy sewing!

 

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Scrap Busting Saturday Workshop!


By Judith on May 29, 2018
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Hello there!

 

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

 

Sunset (Seapark) May18
Sunset (Seapark) May18

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Organising Scraps (Workshop)

 

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

 

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

 

Stacked Coins Cushion: (pattern available here)

 

Scrappy Stacked Coins Cushion

 

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

 

Scrappy Stacked Coins Cushion

 

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

 

Scrappy Stacked Coins Cushion

 

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

 

Scrappy Stacked Coins cushion

 

French Braid Handbag: (pattern available here)

 

Scrappy French Braid Bag (workshop)

 

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

 

Scrappy French Braid Bag (workshop)

 

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

 

(Hinged Faux Leather Handles available at the workshop)

 

Strip Pieced Quilt: (free block tutorial here)

 

Scrappy Strips Quilt (British P&Q Sept16)

 

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

 

Scrappy Strips Quilt (British Patchwork & Quilting Sept16)

 

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

 

Autumn Rail Fence Quilt (block tutorial available here)

 

Summer Rail Fence Quilt (Pretty Patches Aug16)

 

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

 

Summer Rail Fence Quilt (Pretty Patches Aug16)

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

QAYG Shopping Bag class sample

 

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

 

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

 

The pattern also includes this secure recessed zipper closure.

 

QAYG Handbag class sample 056

 

‘Birch’ Quilt (in progress):

 

Birch Quilt in progress

 

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

 

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

 

Birch Quilt in progress

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Happy scrapping!

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Improv. Curved Placemats Tutorial


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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Improv Curves Placemat tutorial (2)

 

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

 

You will need:

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

50cm of Wadding or Insul Bright Heat Resistant Wadding

50cm of calico

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

4.5 metres of 3/4″ wide bias binding

Co-ordinating threads

505 Basting Spray

 

Method: Assume 1/4″ seams

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

5 Press the seam to the darkest fabric.

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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