Kindred Spirits QAL: Final Week


By Judith on January 25, 2021
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It’s the final week of the Kindred Spirits Quilt-Along!



Wow! It seems like only yesterday when we started with our very first Friendship Reel block back in September!

Initial feedback from the group reveals that having the quilt-along to focus on and a new block to tackle each week has definitely helped to distract from the pandemic and kept minds and hands busy in all the right ways!!

Last week we started to see some completed flimsies! What a delight!



And this week is all about the quilting, binding and finishing our quilts!

At last I can show you the 2 finished Kindred Spirits quilts that I made during our quilt-along!


Coastal:

64″ x 76″



This is the Coastal version of the Kindred Spirits Quilt, based on the main quilt-along graphic (above).

The fabrics used are all by Makower (see below) and are available in our online shop.


One of our Kindred Spirits, Trudi Wood, is a professional long-arm quilter (& a very good friend!) and she worked her quilting magic on the quilt, using one of her pretty fan pantographs!



Isn’t it spectacular! I love the wonderful texture and superior effects that are achieved from long-arm quilting!

Thank you Trudi for finishing off this quilt so beautifully!


Scrappy Tilda:

64″ x 76″

I tested all of the quilt-along blocks by making them first with mostly Tilda scraps. I love how different fabrics can completely change the look of a quilt, even when the design is the same!



I quilted this one on my domestic machine, using an organic wavy line across the width of the quilt.


A video tutorial on how to achieve this quilting design and also a demo on Free Motion Quilting is included in this week’s teaching video.



I’m delighted with both versions of my quilt, and I just know the Kindred Spirits are going to produce equally beautiful quilts! I can’t wait to see them!

We are currently working to reformat the Kindred Spirits Quilt-Along into a stand alone class for general sale. We’ll keep you posted!

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Kindred Spirits Quilt-Along: Update


By Judith on January 11, 2021
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I’ve been very neglectful in keeping you up-to-date here on our Kindred Spirits Quilt-Along! Apologies! I think perhaps Christmas put paid to my QAL rhythm and blog routine!!



Since I last updated you on the QAL we have made….

1 Light of Life Lantern (18″ Drunkard’s Path) block:


2 Flying Geese borders:


2 Spools blocks (9″ each):




And this week the ladies are making …

1 Circle of Hearts (9″ Applique) block:



2 Orange Peel (9″ Applique) blocks:



This week marks the end of all our block making! Wow! 17 weeks has gone by in a flash! The photos the ladies put up in the private Facebook Group are wonderful and it’s so exciting seeing the quilts growing week on week.


That just leaves 2 more weeks where we will be covering quilt top assembly and quilting and binding techniques bringing our QAL to an end on 31st January.


I’m very much looking forward to showing you some of the finished quilt tops in a few weeks time!

Stayed tuned!

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Crossed Paths


By Judith on December 3, 2020
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This week in the Kindred Spirits Quilt-Along we are making three 9″ Crossed Paths blocks.

 

 

This block column will add a dramatic geometric contrast to the softer curves and sharp points of its surrounding blocks.

 

The technique focus in making these blocks is how to successfully sew long strips together.

 

For these blocks we are sewing 3 Width of Fabric strips together (42″-44″) and then chopping them into smaller units to create the striped sections.

 

 

If you have ever worked with a Jelly Roll (precut 2.5″ strips) or narrow border strips you may have experienced some curving or bowing when sewing the long strips together.

 

Here are some helpful tips to avoid curving when sewing long strips together:

 

1 Pin/clip the strips right sides together, first at the top and bottom edges, then the middle and the quarter points.  This will prevent the top strip from ‘travelling’ further than the underneath strip.

2 (If sewing more than 2 strips together, place a pin marker at the top of the first 2 strips so you remember which end you started sewing at.)

3 Use a new 80/12 standard needle and attach a walking foot to your machine (or engage IDT). Sew 1/4″ seam down the length of the strips.

4 Remove the pins/clips and set the seams (press the seam as you have sewn it). Now press the seam either open or to the darkest fabric. This is best done on a large ironing board where you can easily keep the length of the strip straight as you press.

5 Pin and attach the next strip in the same way as before, this time sewing from the bottom end (remember your pin marker donotes the top end). Changing direction of the sewing will resist curving.

Now you should have straight sewn strips with no ruffles or curving along the seams!!

 

Happy sewing!

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EPP Decoration & Label


By Judith on November 26, 2020
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English Paper Piecing (EPP) is our theme in our Kindred Spirits Quilt-Along this week!

As our Unity Tile block making draws to a close at the weekend, we are showcasing other ways the EPP templates can be used in other projects.

Earlier this week we showed you the beautiful Spring Wallhanging made by Di @willowbeckdesigns.

Today I can show you 2 smaller projects that Sarah @sewmesarah has made for us.

 

Christmas Decoration:

 

 

How cute is this double sided Christmas Decoration, using the diamond and square shapes! And beautifully finished with a rustic blanket stitch.

 

 

The centre square really lends itself to a festive fussy cut. But these could also be personalised too, with a photo printed onto fabric sewn into the centre!! Or someone’s name or Merry Christmas message hand stitched onto the shape.

 

Quilt Label:

 

 

The perfect way to finish a quilt, especially when being gifted, is with a quilt label.

Quilt labels are sewn into the back of the quilt and forever record the important details or a sweet message for the recipient.

Sarah has creatively incorporated one of the Unity Tile templates with a 2″ centre square to make this sweet label.

What better label to use for our Quilt-Along quilts!!

 

Thank you Sarah and Di for inspiring us with your creative genius!!

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Foundation Paper Piecing


By Judith on November 5, 2020
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Hello folks!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but I’ve had a very good reason!

 

 

My eldest daughter was married this week in England.  The current pandemic meant the original guest list was whittled down to 6, the date brought forward a day, no bridal party, no photographer, no reception, a last minute change of vicar and no honeymoon! Poor things!

 

 

That being said, we had a lovely simplified day celebrating together! It has been almost a year since I’ve seen my girl and it was so good spending a few days together.

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

 

So time to update you on our Kindred Spirits Quilt-Along!

 

Solidarity Star (Kindred Spirits QAL)

 

For the past 2 weeks the ladies have been working on a Foundation Paper Pieced 18″ block called Solidarity Star.

Solidarity Star (Kindred Spirits QAL)

In the 18th and 19th Centuries, Foundation Piecing was popular as a way of stabilising fabric by sewing it first onto a foundation of either scrap fabric or muslin or paper (often old letters!). It is a similar technique to English Paper Piecing where fabric is wrapped & secured around paper shapes before being sewn together.

 

 

Paper foundations are torn out after sewing, whereas fabric foundations remain in the finished project.

 

Today, our cheaply produced and widely available paper is the most commonly used foundation, with block design becoming more elaborate achieving complex and precise piecing.

 

Popper Penguin Cushion pattern available here

Freezer paper can also be used in Foundation Piecing. In this instance the finished size of each shape is made from freezer paper with the fabrics being cut 1/4″ wider. Unlike Foundation Paper Piecing, you don’t stitch through the freezer paper, it is simply peeled off after the fabrics are pieced together.

 

Schoolhouse Cushion Pattern available here

As part of our Quilt-Along, we will be learning the non-freezer paper method and sewing directly onto our paper templates.

 

Because of the complexity of our Solidarity Star we are taking 2 weeks of the QAL to make our block.  And I’m seeing fabulous results in our private Facebook Group!!

 

Foundation Paper Piecing is one of my favourite patchwork techniques!  I just love all the crisp lines and points you can achieve!

 

 

If you’ve never tried Foundation Paper Piecing why not have a go with some simple tutorials and shapes to get a hold of the technique.  There are some great tips for Beginner Foundation Paper Piecers here. Then a whole world of beautiful stars, pictures and complex shapes will open up to you!

 

Happy sewing!

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Diamond Mats


By Judith on October 16, 2020
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Hi everyone, I can’t believe it’s a week already since my last post!

 

The new week in our Kindred Spirits Quilt-Along has brought a new block and technique focus!

 

 

This week we are making two 9″ Garden Baskets, showcasing the Y Seam as our technique focus!

 

What is a Y Seam?  It’s where 3 seams converge to form a Y shape.

 

 

There are 3 Y seams to navigate in each Garden Basket block.

 

There seems to be an inherent fear of Y seams (a little like zippers!) in the quilting world, but with a few clever little tips they’re not as nearly as tricky as you might think!

 

While our basket block involves mostly piecing, we use a diamond template to cut out the ‘flowers’ in our baskets.

 

I like to get creative with the templates in our QAL, to see what other ways we can use them.  Here are a couple of ideas.

 

Variation 1:

LeMoyne Star Candle Mat

 

 

 

The LeMoyne Star is one of the most well known and historical quilt blocks to use Y seams!

 

 

Historians disagree over the origins of this 8 pointed star – either named after the LeMoyne Brothers who founded New Orleans in 1718 and used this star in their coat of arms or after Jean Louis LeMoyne who included the star into his designs for the tiles at King Louis XVI’s palace at Versailles in the early 1700!

Either way, it’s old!!

 

 

So here’s my more contemporary version, using Makower Scandi fabrics to piece our diamonds into a sweet Christmas candle mat!

 

 

There are a total of 8 Y seams in LeMoyne star! I quilted my little mat in the ditches of the diamonds and finished with pre-made bias binding trim.

 

Variation 2:

EPP Tray Mat

 

 

Using the English Paper Piecing (EPP) technique (wrapping fabric around paper templates) you can create a beautiful star shape which can then be appli-quilted* onto a contrasting background.

 

*Appli-quilting is a two in one step, where the stitching down of the applique shape is done through all the layers of the background quilt sandwich, which means it gets quilted at the same time as being appliqued!

 

 

Our diamond template is used here to create the EPP papers (the finished size of the diamonds), and the fabric is then cut 1/4″ bigger all the way round the shape.

 

 

This means the star in this variation finishes bigger than our LeMoyne Star variation.

 

 

A little rounding of the corners gives a softening contrast to the points of the star.

 

 

So there we have 2 simple ways to use the humble diamond template (and use up some pretty scraps in the process!).

 

I’m looking forward to seeing what the ladies produce this week in the QAL!

 

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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New Drunkard’s Path Patterns


By Judith on October 1, 2020
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This week in our Kindred Spirits Quilt-Along we are making the Sunflower block.

 

 

Our technique focus this time is curved piecing using the humble drunkard’s Path unit (Quarter Circle and Background Fan).

 

 

I love curved piecing and the endless variety this little quilt block offers.

 

With the templates my ladies received this week in the QAL, and the trimming technique they learned in the teaching video, they could not only make the pretty Sunflower Block but they could make all of these 13″ quilt blocks too ……

 

 

…. and all of these 19.5″ Cushion Panels!!

 

 

How cool is that!  There are endless curvy possibilities with a drunkard’s path block!

 

And here are two more!

 

1 Hippy Blush Quilt 

(pattern available here)

 

 

2 Oriental Clams Quilt

(Pattern available here)

 

 

These are two of my patterns which have previously been published in magazines, and are made completely from Drunkard’s Path blocks.

 

I’m pleased to finally be able to reformat them for general sale, including professionally art-worked Drunkard’s Path templates.

 

The patterns are available for immediate download in my Pattern shop, along with several other Drunkard’s Path project patterns!

 

Wishing you lots of curvy fun!!

 

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Friendship Reel Candle Mat


By Judith on September 16, 2020
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Well our Kindred Spirits Quilt-Along got underway this week, and what a great response we’ve had!

 

Thank you to everyone for signing up and so far raising £200 for Shared Threads!

 

The first block in the quilt-along is a 9″ Applique block called Friendship Reel.

 

 

In the accompanying teaching video, you can learn both satin stitch applique (machine) and needleturn applique (hand).

 

We have a private Facebook group for the quilt-along and it’s so lovely seeing people’s fabric choices and prepped and finished Friendship Reel blocks appearing already!

 

Making both satin stitched and needleturned versions for the videos, I now have an orpha block which is surplus to requirements for the final Kindred Spirits Quilt.

 

Friendship Reel Candle Mat

 

So I thought I’d turn it into a little candle mat, to give folks an alternative use for their blocks and how to use up little orphan blocks.

 

Friendship Reel Candle Mat

 

This was my needleturned Friendship Reel, and with some textured matchstick quilting and black & white stripey binding, you’ve instantly got a handy little candle or vase mat or a useful trivet for your kitchen table.

 

Friendship Reel Candle Mat

 

And just imagine this lovely block made in Christmas Fabrics! Wouldn’t that make a sweet Christmas gift!

 

All fabrics available in our fabric shop

 

So no need for purposeless leftover blocks! Liberate them into functional items and gifts!

 

(If you’d like to join our Kindred Spirits Quilt-Along, booking is available here.)

 

Happy sewing!

 

 

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