Scrappy Notebook Cover Tutorial

By Judith on April 9, 2021
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After making a bright and scrappy Notebook Cover a while back for my friend’s birthday …….

I got a few requests for a tutorial!

So here is my Scrappy (Quarter Log Cabin) Notebook Cover Tutorial.

The tutorial will take you step by step through the ‘quarter log cabin’ piecing on the front, echo quilting, installing the flaps, lining, elastic pen holder and button/loop closure.

This is a great wee project for using up some of your favourite scraps, and they make perfect gifts for anyone you know who loves journalling, writing poetry, collecting recipes or writing lists!!!

You can of course quilt your notebook cover any way you choose. I went for some quick and easy echo quilting around these Art Gallery ‘Boho Fusions’ fabrics.

And of course, when your notebook is full, just pop in a new A5 Spiral Notebook and you’re off and running again!

I hope you enjoy our new YouTube tutorial!

Happy sewing!


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HST Heart Tote Bag

By Judith on January 28, 2021
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A few years ago I wrote a free tutorial on how to make a Half Square Triangle (HST) heart block.

The heart can be sized up into a 12″ quilt block ….

… or turned into a pretty 18″ cushion!

I’ve been focussing a lot on hearts over the past few weeks and thought I would do another interpretation of my HST Heart block.

This time, a tote bag for a friend who is a front line National Health Service worker. All our NHS workers are under huge mental, physical and emotional strain at the moment, so I wanted to remind my friend how much she is loved and appreciated for all that she is doing.

Apart from staying home and obeying the restrictions, the best way I know how to do this is through handmade gifts!

This time I turned the heart block into a patch pocket – there’s one on each side. I added some rivets for extra detailing!

For the main body of the bag, I repurposed 2 legs from a pair of wide leg jeans (the cuff that was at the bottom of the trouser legs now forms the top of the bag!).

I wanted to create a soft, non-quilted tote bag that is strong enough to carry around files or shopping, but also lightweight so it can be folded away easily when not in use.

The bag is lined with a vintage sheet and edged with another vintage offcut with cute blue strawberries and a soft stripe. I decided to leave a little of the lining proud at the top to give a mock binding effect.

And in keeping with my repurposing theme, the handles are made from a belt from a hand-me-down shirt dress!!

The bag has now been gifted and very well received!!

Maybe there’s someone in your life who needs reminding of their value and worth! No better way to express it than with a handmade heart!

Happy sewing!


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HSTs, QSTs and HRTs

By Judith on October 9, 2020
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Hi everyone, I hope you’ve had a good week. It’s been a busy week of filming here at Just Jude Designs, as well as keeping tabs on the participants of our Kindred Spirits QAL!


This week’s block in the QAL is the Friendship Star block.



We are making two 9″ Friendship Star blocks with sweet pinwheels in the centre. Traditionally though there would be a square in the middle and as the name suggests, this little block had profund meaning to the early pioneer women making for friends who were often on the move.



“The quilts the homesteaders brought with them were a comfort to these women who traded their home, family and friends in the East, for the uncertainty of traveling through vast prairies in the West. A quilt that held special value to the pioneer women was the Friendship Quilt.


Often it was done in secret, and then given to the woman as a going away gift. It usually was a group effort, with each block being sewn by a friend or relative with their name embroidered in the center.


Putting a Friendship quilt on the bed, gave a woman a sense of connection with her former way of life. It kept alive the memory of family and friends, providing comfort and company during the difficult days of homesteading.”

Source: National Park Service Quilt Discovery Experience


Our main technique focus this week is the Half Square Triangle (HST), a fun little element which can behold a multitude of designs.


Here are just a few of our HST designs down through the years!




Patterns for many HST projects (including several of the quilts shown above) are available in our pattern shop.


But do you know the difference between HSTs, QSTs and HRTs (no, not that one!)?



Check out our free tutorial here to find out!!!!


Happy sewing!




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Free Tutorial: Hexie Basket

By Judith on May 12, 2020
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As mentioned in my previous post, I have more baskets to show you!  And these are from my latest free YouTube Tutorial!


Hexie Basket Tutorial


In this tutorial you will learn:


~The English Paper Piecing technique

~Quilting the exterior panel


Hexie Basket Tutorial


~How to make and attaching Piping


Hexie Basket Tutorial


~Basket construction, including inserting the base and lining



Hexie Basket Tutorial



~Bindng the top edge to finish


Hexie Basket Tutorial


And a bonus feature at the end of the tutorial will show you how to calculate the cutting measurements for any size basket you wish to make!


Hexie Basket tutorial


So if you fancy making these cute baskets, why not check out my free video tutorial here.


Happy sewing!


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Scrappy Table Topper Video Tutorial

By Judith on April 12, 2020
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As lockdown continues here, I’ve had lots more time to play with my favourite scraps!


I’ve been needing a little mat to place under the tray that sits on my oak table.  I also love the process of making ‘stacked coins’ from scrappy strips.


So put the two together and what do you get? My free Scrappy Table Topper Tutorial!


Scrappy Table Topper Vidoe Tutorial


The tutorial will take you through how to make the stacked coin columns – they can be any size you wish, maximising the size of scraps you have.


Scrappy Table Topper Vidoe Tutorial


You will also see how to quilt the topper using a quilting bar – that weird looking ‘allen key’ type bar that languishes in your accessories tray!  It’s a really handy little gadget, and will save you lots of marking out time!


Scrappy Table Topper Vidoe Tutorial


I also show you how to make and finish off the binding by ‘stitching in the ditch’ from the front side.


Scrappy Table Topper Vidoe Tutorial


This is a really quick little project, and you can make these pretty and functional mats any size you like!  I now have several of them dotted around my house, bringing me joy each time my eye catches some of my favourite fabrics.


Scrappy Table Topper Vidoe Tutorial


I hope you enjoy the tutorial.  We are getting better with each one that we make, and we have more planned!


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 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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Teabag Wallet Tutorial

By Judith on January 7, 2019
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Teabag Wallet Tutorial


If you’re not a standard tea drinker, how about keeping a few of your favourite flavours in a portable and handy wallet!


Teabag Wallet Tutorial


This simple tutorial will have you ‘bagged’ up in no time!

(And a great little gift idea for a tea loving friend don’t you think!)


You will need:

Exterior: 1 x (5″ x 7″)

Lining: 1 x (5″ x 7″)

Pockets: 2 x (5″ x 7″)

Heavy Sew-in Vilene: 1 x (5″ x 7″)

505 Basting Spray

chalk pen or non-permanent fabric marker

elastic hair bobble





1 Spray baste the vilene to the wrong side of the lining.



2 Bring both long edges of each pockets wrong sides together and press.



3 Place the first pocket onto the right side of the lining, with the folded edge of the pocket positioned 1.5″ down from the top of the lining.



4 Sew along the bottom of the pocket 1/8″ from the raw edge and through all layers.



5 Place the last pocket on top, this time with the raw edge aligned with the bottom of the lining. Chalk a line through the centre as shown.



6 Sew along the chalk line, through all layers.



7 Machine tack a hair bobble just above the front pocket, on the right side. The loop of the elastic must face in towards the wallet.



8 Pin the exterior right sides together with the pocket section. Sew around all sides using 1/4″ seam allowance, leaving a 2″ gap along the bottom edge.



9 Turn the wallet right sides out through the gap in the lining. Press under the raw edges of the gap.



10 Sew around all sides of the wallet using 1/8″ seam allowance, closing the gap as you go.



11 Press the wallet in half and sew a button onto the front and aligned with the elastic.



Fill up with your favourite teas and off you go!


Teabag Wallet Tutorial



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Infinity Scarf Tutorial

By Judith on September 28, 2018
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My 5 minute demo in class this month was how to make these super easy infinity scarfs.




You can use anything between 1 and 4 pieces of fabric for your scarf.


Infinity Scarfs


The sumptuous softness of Art Gallery fabrics  or Liberty Lawns work particularly well, but you can also use quilting cotton, or for a more cosy scarf, try brushed cotton or snuggly fleece.


Would you like to know how to make them? My tutorial shows you how to make a scarf from 4 fabrics.


Infinity scarf tutorial


You will need:

Scarf made from 1 fabric: 1 x (20″ x 60″) or

Scarf made from 2 fabrics: 2 x (10.5″ x 60″) or

Scarf made from 3 fabrics: 2 x (10.5″ x 30″) & 1 x (10.5″ x 60″) or

Scarf made from 4 fabrics: 4 x (10.5″ x 30″)

3 metres mini pom pom trim (optional)

Adjustable zipper foot


Use 1/4″ seam allowance


1  Sew 2 panels right sides together  along the short edges. Press the seam open.  Repeat for the other 2 panels.



2 On the right side of one of the pairs, pin and machine tack 2 x 60″ lengths of mini pom pom trim down both long sides. The pom poms should be facing away from the outer edges.  I used my zipper foot for this part so I could sew past the pom poms.



3 Place both paired panels right sides together and sew down both long sides.  Again, I used my zipper foot here.



4 Turn the scarf right side out.


5  Iron under the raw edges of one short end by 1/4″.



6  Take the other short end and twist the scarf once before tucking it into the ironed under short end.



7 Even out the short ends, pin and sew them together, 1/8″ from the folded edge. You are only sewing through the 2 short ends here.



And there you have it!  A beautifully soft infinity scarf.


Infinity Scarfs


You can of course lengthen and widen the measurements here to suit your needs or style!


Have fun making these versatile and practical scarves. But be warned!


EVERYONE will want one!!!


Happy sewing!


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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.



14 Open out the binding and sew the short ends together using 1/4″ seam allowance.



15 Finger press the seam open and finish sewing down the remaining binding to the mat.

16 Snip all around the edge of the mat at 1cm intervals, taking care not to cut the stitches.



17 Push the binding over to the back of the mat.  Pin in the ditch from the front, making sure the binding is caught at the back.



18 Stitch in the ditch from the front side finishing with a reverse stitch.



And you’re finished!

Improv Curves Placemats


Adorn your table with your beautiful mats and wait for the compliments!


Improv Curves Placemats


So why not have a go at this organic and fun technique!


I hope you enjoy your venture into improv. curves!


Happy curving!


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Tutorial: Quilted Plant Pot Cover

By Judith on April 10, 2018
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As promised, here is my tutorial for these uber cute Plant Pot Covers (fits an Ikea small plant pot).


Quilted Plant Pot Cover


Measurements listed are width x height

Assume 1/4″ seams

Finished Size: 4.5″ (w) x 5″ (h) x 4″ (d)


Quilted Plant Pot Cover


You will need:

Exterior: 2 x (9″ x 8.5″)

Lining: 2 x (9″ x 8.5″)

Sew-in Flex Foam (Bosal): 2 x (9″x 8.5″)

505 Basting Spray

20″ length of lace or trim


Make the Exterior:

1 Spray baste the exterior pieces to the flex foam pieces & quilt as desired.



2 Measure and cut out 2″ squares from the bottom corners of both exterior pieces.



3 Pin both exterior pieces right sides together. Sew both sides and bottom edges, using a reverse stitch to start and finish (leave the corners unsewn).



4 Put your hand inside the basket and push the base down flat. Then push the side seam down on top of the base seam – this brings the raw edges of the corners together. Pin.



5 Sew along the corners, using a reverse stitch to start and finish. Turn right side out.  Put to one side.



Make the Lining:

6 Repeat steps 1 – 5 for the lining, leaving a 2″ gap in a side seam for turning (do not turn right side out).



Assemble the Basket:

7 Place the exterior basket inside the lining, right sides will be together. Align & pin the side seams and top edges.




8 Sew around the top edge (removing the accessory tray from your machine will help here).  Start and finish with a reverse stitch.



9 Turn the basket right sides out through the gap in the lining.  Push the corners well out and hand or machine stitch the gap closed.


10 Push the lining into the basket and pin around the top edge, making sure the lining isn’t sitting proud above the exterior.



11 Sew around the top edge, starting and finishing with a reverse stitch.


12 Pin and sew the lace around the top edge, pointing upwards, and overlap the start and finish by 1/2″.



13 Fold the top of the basket out and pop in your potted plant!


Line ’em up and wait for the compliments!!


Quilted Plant Pot Cover

Happy sewing!



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Flex Frame Sunglasses Case Tutorial

By Judith on May 15, 2017
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Hello everyone!  I hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend.


With all the sunshine we’ve been having lately, I thought it was time I shared my Sunglasses Case pattern with you.



If you are new to the world of ‘flex frames’ don’t worry, they are really easy to insert, and there are lots of pictures to help you along.


Of course you can use these handy cases for regular spectacles, they make lovely gifts too!



But a sunnies case is embracing of the imminent summer season and will get us all in the mood for when the sun comes out again!


Good To Know:

There are 2 sizes available.  This is because not all sunglasses fold flat.  If they do, like normal glasses then you need to make the narrower case using a 3.5″ flex frame (available from here).



However, if your sunglasses are wrap around ones (like mine), you will need to make the wider case using a 5″ flex frame. Now it’s a little more tricky to get hold of these within the UK.  However they are widely available from Hong Kong and China via Ebay (remember, Hong Kong is a country with a pre-paid Import charge agreement with the UK, so no customs charges will apply on your parcel).

The construction method is the same for both sizes.



So let’s get started.


You will need:

First of all, you will need to download the applique glasses template here.

3.5″ or 5″ Flex Frame

Narrow case: 2 x (4″ x 9″) each from outer fabric, lining fabric & sew-in vilene (heavy weight)

Wider case: 2 x (5.5″ x 9″) each from outer fabric, lining fabric & sew-in vilene (heavy weight)

Fabric for applique sunglasses (2.5″ x 5″)

Bondaweb (2.5″ x 5″)

Jewellery pliers or similar

Adjustable zipper foot (this makes sewing in the flex frame easier)

505 Basting spray (optional)



Assume 1/4″ seam allowances 


1. Spray baste the vilene to the wrong sides of the outer fabric pieces.  Using the template provided, trace onto the papery side of the bondaweb.


2. Iron the bondaweb to the wrong side of the applique glasses fabric. When cooled, cut out on the line.



3. Remove the paper backing and carefully iron the glasses to the right side of the outer fabric, centred and approx. 2.5cm (1”) up from the bottom edge.



4. Applique the glasses according to your preferred method. I used raw edge ‘sketch’ applique – for this you need to drop the feed dogs and attach a free motion/darning foot to your machine (you can get more information on how to do this & other machine applique techniques here.)



5. Put the 2 outer pieces right sides together and mark 6.75cm (2 5/8″) down from both top corners. Sew down both sides and the bottom edge from marker to marker, leaving the top open (this is the flex frame section).



6. Repeat step 5 for both lining pieces, leaving a 5cm (2”) gap in the middle of the bottom edge (for turning).


7. With right sides together, match the outer flaps to the lining flaps.



8. Carefully pin these sections as shown below, making sure to match the side seams.



9. Sew around the top unsewn section from pin to pin.  Use a reverse stitch to start and finish and take care not to sew into the existing seams.  Repeat for the other flap.



10. Carefully snip the corners at an angle to lessen the bulk.



11. Turn the pouch right side out through the gap in the lining. Push the corners well out and press flat. Hand or machine stitch the gap closed.



12. Push the lining down into the case. Fold back one of the ‘flaps’, pin and sew close to the outer edge to create a channel (an adjustable zipper foot is useful here).  Start and finish with a reverse stitch. Repeat for the other ‘flap’.



13. Insert the flex frame into the channels.



14. Push back the fabric to expose the open ends of the flex frame.  Slot the hinge together, insert the bar fully into the hinge, and then close the ends of the hinge using jewellery pliers.  Resettle the fabric along the flex frame.





Pop in your sunglasses and enjoy!



Happy sewing!


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