Scrappy Heart Drawstring Bags

By Judith on April 21, 2020
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Hello there!


I’ve had a little extra time on my hands the past 2 days (that’s in between long lie-ins, short walks and afternoon reading in my sunny garden)!


I had a few leftover pieces of Tilda strips from my last free video tutorial project and thought I’d put them to good use.


Scrappy Heart Drawstring Bags


This little drawstring bag stands around 11″ tall (unfilled) and combines mostly Tilda scraps with some Essex Yarn Dyed Linen (Flax).


Scrappy Heart Drawstring Bags


I quilted the front and back in a 1″ diagonal grid before needleturning a heart on each side, and a simple running stitch detail.


Scrappy Heart Drawstring Bags


The bag is fully lined with finished drawstring tabs.


Scrappy Heart Drawstring Bags


The bag took no time at all to make, so I made another one!!


Scrappy Heart Drawstring Bags


I’m not much of a hand stitcher, but I really enjoyed the slow stitching of the hearts and running stitches.


Scrappy Heart Drawstring Bags


I’m planning on filling these bags with goodies and gifting them to some friends who are fighting on the front line of the Covid19 battle.


Happy sewing!



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Sanitary Pad Making Workshop

By Judith on January 19, 2020
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Yesterday was our charity sewing day in support of Shared Threads.

Shared Threads is a Belfast based charity that makes cloth sanitary pads & hygiene packs, and in doing so seeks to “remove some of the limitations that menstruation puts on so many women and girls across the world, replacing it with dignity and the freedom to get an education and live their lives. 

We also believe in making a positive impact on our environment by using secondhand cotton and towels. We love that we can gather makers together around a creative project with the common purpose of helping women.”



These ladies willingly gave up their time and talent to learn how to make reusable sanitary pads, holders and drawstring bags for Shared Threads.



And what a productive day it was!  Just look at all this …



Almost all of the materials used are repurposed or donated.  Cotton fabrics make the pad holders and drawstring bags. Brushed Cotton and old towels make the pads.  The only item to be purchased is a waterproof layer called P.U.L. (Polyurethane Laminate) which is sewn into the pads.


P.U.L. was originally designed for use in the medical industry to withstand repeated washing as well as a high heat steam sterilising clean system. It is  durable, it doesn’t crease, doesn’t fray and doesn’t stain easily and has the wonderful properties of being both waterproof as well as breathable which means it will keep moisture from passing through and yet heat is able to escape.


P.U.L. is now widely available online.


Our sanitary haul and donated fabric and towels have already been handed over to Shared Threads with grateful thanks.


If you would like to make the pads, holders or bags you can find the templates and tutorials here.


A big thank you to the ladies who made it to the workshop yesterday and your eagerness to continue making for Shared Threads.


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:


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?




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.




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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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




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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Shared Threads – Help Wanted!

By Judith on June 21, 2018
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A few months ago I had the privilege of meeting an Instagram friend, Kirsty from Song of a Nest.

We first made contact via Instagram, but it turned out we only live up the road from each other!!

Shared Threads
Kirsty is multi-talented (just check out her beautiful website), but more than that, she is a passionate and compassionate individual.  Kirsty’s heart for school girls in India is infectious, and this is why Shared Threads was created.


Shared Threads


“I have started a project called ‘Shared threads’ which makes sanitary kits for girls in India so that they can go to school.

The heart behind the project is to remove the limitations that menstruation puts on women and girls, playing a part in enabling them to live their lives to it’s full potential

So many women and girls around the world have to resort to using leaves or rags or old newspapers to manage their period due to lack of sanitary products. Our pack provides them with a free, washable, sustainable  solution to manage their period with dignity, whilst also being kinder to the environment.

Girls all over the world drop out of school due to lack of feminine hygiene products. Our pack enables them to continue with their education all year round.

Our packs and pads are made with recycled fabric.”


(You can read more here about the specific project in India we will be supporting.)


Each girl will receive a drawstring bag (tune in tomorrow for the tutorial) which will contain 2 pad holders and 6 pads.


Shared Threads


Everything is made from donated and recycled textiles, except for the PUL (Polyurethane Laminate), a waterproof, breathable and washable liner in the pads.


And here’s how you can get involved:


    • Come: join in with our get-togethers – even if you can’t sew, there are lots of other jobs we need done (e.g. cutting out, threading the drawstrings, making up the packs etc.). We hope to next meet in July.


Shared Threads


  • Donate: we need towels and brushed cotton/flannel for the pads and cotton fabrics for the holders and bags. We also need shoe-laces and ribbons for the drawstring bags.


  • Make: tomorrow I will post the tutorial for the drawstring bags, and soon Kirsty will be posting the instructions for the pad holders. Even if you can’t get along to the meet-ups, we would love it if you could make the items at home or why not arrange your own Shared Threads sew-in with friends?


So here’s what to do next:


    • Hop on over to the Shared Threads page and sign up for the regular updates and info from Kirsty.  This will keep you up-to-date with meet-ups, fund-raisers and progress reports.



    • Contact Kirsty via FB, IG or her website if you have materials to donate


I know from previous experience just how generous and supportive the sewing community is.  Thanking you all in advance of your support.


“Small things done with great love will change the world!”

Mother Theresa


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