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)

 

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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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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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A Flurry of Finishes!


By Judith on December 16, 2018
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My last class of 2018 finished last Thursday!

 

What a wonderful term (& year!) it was!  And I think, one of our most productive!

 

Here’s a little snapshot of some of the amazing makes my ladies have been beavering away at!

 

Christmas 18

 

There are many more amazing projects and gifts that will be bringing smiles to lots of faces this Christmas.

 

Let’s just say there will some truly blessed recipients out there!  My ladies are some of the most talented and generous people I know, and they have continued to inspire me all year!

 

For me, I plan to continue working on patterns, plans and projects for next year. But I will be taking a break over Christmas, to spend time with 2 of my girls, a little EPP, some reading and much needed rest!

 

 

 

Whatever you are planning over the next few weeks, I pray you will be happy and healthy!

 

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‘Around the World’ Birthday Quilt


By Judith on August 10, 2017
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Happy Thursday everyone!

 

It’s a happy day here at the Hollies Household because not only is the sun shining, we have just had gas installed in our new home! This means we now have long awaited hot water, cooking facilities and a little heat on chilly evenings!  #livinglikekings

 

The quilt I’d like to show you today is long overdue its reveal!

 

Around the World Quilt (Pretty Patches Magazine Aug17)

 

My middle daughter turned 18 last February, and I got her birthday quilt started at Brit Bee Retreat.

 

My daughter loves travel/world themes as well as old style items, images and graphics.  Also, she isn’t into pink or girly colours so much, so I knew I had to get the fabrics and colours just right.

 

Purchased from Lovely Jubbly Fabrics

 

I was browsing travel themed fabrics online and came across this Makower fabric called ‘Airmail Travel Stamp, Special Delivery!’  It was my perfect starting point and this became my ‘headline’ print.  I used the colours in this print to guide me through the rest of my stash and scrap boxes.

 

 

I didn’t want to chop the Airmail print up too small, so designed an ‘on point’ block where large sections of the headline print would appear in the secondary pattern, with scrappy pieced dividers.  A little white on white to separate the busyness and it all came together beautifully.

 

Around the World Quilt (Pretty Patches Magazine Aug17)

 

Keeping the scrappy prints to softer tones and small scale prints helped create an overall calm feel to the quilt.  My daughter’s bedroom is mostly neutral creams and greys so I didn’t want the overall look of the quilt to be too bright.

 

Around the World Quilt (Pretty Patches Magazine Aug17)

 

I managed to get the quilt almost completed by the end of February, just a few weeks late of the birth date.  And then a request came in from a magazine editor requesting a quilt for a summer edition!

 

Around the World Quilt (Pretty Patches Magazine Aug17)

 

This was the only quilt I had available in the tight timescale, so off it went to England, with an apology to my daughter for yet another delay on her quilt (she was most forgiving)!

 

The quilt was published in the August issue of Pretty Patches (still in the shops now) and it was returned to me yesterday!

 

Lucy's 18th Birthday Quilt (Around the World, Pretty Patches Aug17)

 

I could finally present it to my girl, who I’m pleased to say, loves it!

 

She travels to Norway in September for 6 months and only wishes she had room in her luggage to take it with her (she might well be needing it over there!).

 

So that is the story behind ‘Around the World’ Birthday Quilt.  Always a special make when it’s for a loved one, and only 6 months late!!

 

Happy travels!

 

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Autumn Garden Quilt


By Judith on November 3, 2016
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I spent the weekend in Derby with my 3 favourite girls!

Derby Oct16
My eldest daughter turned 21 at the end of October and it was so lovely celebrating with her in the most inspiring surroundings!
Derby Oct16
Derby Oct16
Derby Oct16

Derby Oct16

 

Derby Oct16
Derby Oct16

Autumn is such a beautiful season. But it’s time to put on an extra layer, turn the thermostat up another few notches, and bring out the cosy quilts.

The November issue of Popular Patchwork is in the shops, and in it you’ll find my Autumn Garden Quilt.

Autumn Garden Quilt (Popular Patchwork Nov16)

This is a small quilt (53″ square), but I’m a little bit in love with it (I love curvilicious quilts)!!

For a while now I’ve been wanting to make the ‘drunkard’s path’ flower, and I think the saturated tones of Denyse Schmidt’s Chicopee and Shelburne Falls give these flowers a cosy autumnal feel.

Autumn Garden Quilt (Popular Patchwork Nov16)

I’ve used my trusty Essex Yarn Dyed linen (black) for the background and whizzed the fabrics through my Sizzix Drunkard’s Path dies (657168 fan background & 657169 quarter circle).

Autumn Garden Quilt (Popular Patchwork Nov16)

And this quilt could easily translate into another season (think fresh Spring fabrics!).
I hope you are keeping warm and cosy this Autumn!
Happy sewing!
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