Goodbye My Friend!


By Judith on March 10, 2018
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Today I lost a very dear friend to cancer!

 

 

As a single mum to 3 gorgeous girls, her strength, courage and love for life has been (& will continue to be) my inspiration.  Over the past 13 years we have laughed and cried together, prayed and worked together, and sewed together (Heather was a very talented quilter).

 

3 weeks ago, she had her last birthday, in hospital sadly.  I had made her a quilt, which she got to see.  It made her smile!

 

Heather's Quilt Feb'18

 

I wanted a bright, colourful and happy quilt for Heather, to reflect her sunny personality.  These fabrics are called Soul Blossoms by Amy Butler, and the symbolic cream motifs are Friendship Stars.

 

Heather's Quilt Feb'18

 

She had a great sense of humour and was selflessly devoted to her girls. I’m blessed to have had many opportunities to spend with Heather these past 18 months during her illness.

 

Heather's Quilt Feb'18

 

We loved a good rummage in charity shops (she knew all the best ones), hours and hours in coffee shops (she was the best listener) and nights out at the flicks (even if she did nod off occasionally!).  And of course, we both shared a love of fabric and sewing.  She was even attending my classes until a few weeks ago (I finished the quilt she was working on and it was on her bed when she passed).

 

Heather's Quilt Feb'18

 

I will miss my lovely friend, and my heart is breaking for the 3 beautiful girls she leaves behind, on the eve of Mothers Day.

 

But we share the same faith, and while we said ‘goodbye’ on Monday, through love and tears, we both know that it is only ‘farewell’ until we see each other again in heaven.  And then we will have endless years of fun, frolics and friendship together!

 

Goodbye my friend.  You had courage, grace and dignity right to the very end.  See you on the other side.

 

 

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Tilda Table Cloth


By Judith on May 29, 2017
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Hello everyone! I hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend!

 

I had a fun few days with my best quilty buddies, up a mountain, with glorious sunshine and sheep for company (there may also have been lots of cake and buns)!

 

Threads Across the Sea Retreat May17
L-R: Me, Trudi, Sarah, Di aka ‘Threads Across the Sea’ 

 

Threads Across the Sea Retreat May17

Threads Across the Sea Retreat May17

Threads Across the Sea Retreat May17

 

There was lots of sewing done too, but alas I can’t show you that just yet.

 

What I can show you is a summery table cloth I made for the May issue of Pretty Patches magazine.

 

P1130492

 

The clever peeps at Tilda Fabrics came up with a beautiful collection earlier this year called Bumblebee.

 

 

If you are a regular visitor here, you will know how much I adore Tilda fabrics.  And this collection is no exception. Ditsy flowers and some of my all time favourite colours together – what’s not to love!

 

Tilda Table Cloth (Pretty Patches May17)

 

So when Pretty Patches offered me a bundle of Bumblebee to work with, I jumped at the chance!

 

I wanted to keep the design large scale to let the fabrics do all the talking.

 

Tilda Table Cloth (Pretty Patches May17)

 

Also, to maintain some drape, I didn’t use wadding, but simply ‘bagged’ the top and backing together.

 

One of the reasons why I love Tilda fabrics so much is because of their vintage vibe (and I love all things vintagey!).  So a lacey trim around the edge seemed a fitting finish.

 

P1130343

 

All I need now is for the summer sunshine to return for a little al fresco dining on my new table cloth!

 

Tilda Table Cloth (Pretty Patches May17)

 

Happy sewing!

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Siblings Together Quilted Blocks


By Judith on April 15, 2016
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Since I started blogging over 5 years ago, I quickly became part of a wonderfully giving and generous community of quilters.

I have made friends with folks around the world, we have laughed and cried together, shared our achievements, disasters, tips and tricks!

And now and again I get to meet some of these wonderful people in the flesh!

This is an old pic of me and Marie, who comes to Belfast each year, all the way from Oz!
I’m so privileged to call Marie a friend, she is a talented quilter and a truly generous and inspirational person. Today we met again for coffee, and our short time together always goes too quickly!

And she ALWAYS has a gift for me!

Roses from Marie
Thank you Marie for my pretty roses, and your smiling and passionate heart!
Another way to be a part of this amazing online quilting community is to donate blocks.
QAYG Blocks for Siblings Together

Over on the Siblings Together blog, they have put out the call for quilted 20.5″ blocks, following this tutorial.
These are super quick and easy to make, and if you want to practise your patchwork and especially your quilting, then what better way than on these ‘mini quilts’.
QAYG Blocks for Siblings Together

The tutorial says you can either ‘quilt in the ditch’ (see my tips on ditch quilting here) or quilt them another way.
Here are some examples:
Echo quilting the seams (sewing at least 1/4″ either side of the seams) …
Diagonal lines (mark these out first with chalk or non-permanent fabric marker) …
Free motion squiggles (you need to drop your feed dogs and attach a darning foot to do this).
Whatever way you decide to make your blocks, have fun with them, and know they will be made up into a quilt for a sibling separated by the care system.
Happy quilting!
Jude xo

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A Personal Best!


By Judith on March 12, 2016
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Today I ran my very first 5k Park Run!

L-R: Lucy, Bethany, Me, Ruth & Rebekah (Ruth’s daughter)

I know lots of folks go running, run marathons, go to the gym, run 10k’s, every day of the week perhaps! To some it might not seem like a big thing, to run 5k, it is only 3 miles after all!

But for me, starting the 10 week ‘Couch to 5k’ programme in January was huge.  Ever since being diagnosed with M.E. at the age of 19 I’ve had pretty rubbish stamina, embarrassingly so! While I’m thankful I no longer suffer from M.E. it left a definite mark on my energy levels.

First 5k complete!  Woohoo!

 

My biggest fears were not being able to run the allocated slots; being too exhausted and sore the next day!! I needn’t have worried, and I couldn’t have done this without the support and accountability of my 2 lovely girls, one of my bestie’s and of course the inspiring and well run Jog Belfast programme.

Over the 10 weeks we ran through rain, sleet, snow, freezing temperatures and wind (there was the occasional sunny spell too!), I had to dig deep to go out on Tuesday nights after 2 days on my feet, into the cold and rain, Thursday nights with Ruth (in the cold and rain), and Saturday mornings (when I just wanted to stay in a warm cosy bed!). So I’m even more proud of myself for sticking with all 10 weeks.

It was thoroughly enjoyable, and while I don’t yet consider myself a ‘runner’ (my time was 42 minutes!!!!) I hope to continue running Park Runs on Saturdays and with Ruth through the week too. If I can run through the dark nights of January I can run anytime of the year, right!!

If you have ever considered doing a ‘Couch to 5k’ programme, I would highly recommend it.  Join a group and improve your stamina and well being!  Let’s face it, if I can do it, anyone can!

Happy running!

Jude xo

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