New Year Table Display: Part 2

By Judith on January 20, 2019
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(Read part 1 here)

Thank you for tuning back for part 2 of my classroom’s New Year Table Display.


New Year 19 Display Table


8  Placemats

(pattern available here)




I made these Irish linen & French General placemats for a class a few years ago now, using up some leftover Jelly roll strips and linen offcuts.




But they seem to have a classic timelessness and were my best seller on Craftsy (before Craftsy deleted 95% of my patterns last month!).


They include a handy cutlery pocket, and showcase the different ways you can have fun quilting them!


PicMonkey Collage


I have fond memories of past classes making these!


9  Moroccan Mix Table Runner & Trivet


Moroccan Mix Table Runner


This is my celebration of the wonderful colours of Morocco, a Moroccan Mix table runner & trivet published in a colourful issue of Quilt Now in 2015!


Moroccan Mix Table Runner


It’s another one of my patterns awaiting reformatting for general resale (anyone got a few minions to spare!!!).


Moroccan Mix Trivet


I would love to remake it in a completely different colourway (perhaps inspired by another country!).  All suggestions welcome!


Moroccan Mix Trivet


10  Microwave Bowl Cosies

(free tutorial available here)


These are a little difficult to see in the main photo.  But here they are up close!


Microwave Bowl Cosy
Microwave Bowl Cosy


I first came across this tutorial several years ago, and made myself a couple for my morning porridge bowl!  I haven’t stopped using them since!


The recommended materials are all 100% cotton (including the wadding) if you plan to put the cosies into the microwave.


Microwave Bowl Cosy


But don’t worry, if you don’t have 100% cotton materials, simply heat up your bowl separately in the microwave and carefully lift it out into the cosy!


Then you can transport your comforting bowl of goodness to your favourite spot!  Great for soup too (and hot apple crumble, yum!).


Microwave Bowl Cosy


11  Cutlery Trays

(free tutorial available here)


Cutlery Trays


Ayumi’s brilliant tutorial is for the largest tray you see here.  They are so easy to make and resize to suit your own requirements (keep the width the same, and simply shorten the length: L:13″, M:10.5″, Sml:7.5″).


Cutlery Trays


The changes I made to the pattern were to use Flex Foam Bosal instead of wadding, to give more structure, and to sew a few stitches at the corners to help them retain their shape.


Cutlery Trays


I’m sure like me you can think of a multitude of uses for these handy organisers (desk tidies perhaps?).


12 Pixie Cups

(free tutorial here)


And keeping with the organising theme, how cute are these!



Pixie Cups


These are literally made from scraps – Tilda and leather scraps from other projects, and offcuts of Flex Foam Bosal.


Pixie Cups


The bosal was a little tricky to work with when it came to the smallest basket! But I think this will be the case with any interfacing stiff enough to give these little pots the structure they need.  Just cut your interfacing smaller to try and keep whatever interfacing you use, out of the seams.


Pixie Cups


13  Casserole Carrier

(free tutorial here)


Casserole Carrier


If you know someone in need of a meal, or you’re helping out a friend, here’s a great way to transport it.


Casserole Carrier


Using Insul Bright heat resistant wadding, your casserole will stay warmer for longer in this carrier.


The construction is quick and simple.  One change I would make to the pattern is to shorten the handle (I feel it’s a little too long and ‘swingy’ for it’s heavy load!).


Casserole carrier

So that’s the full roundup of my New Year Display Table.

Thank you so much for sticking it out to the end of 2 lengthy posts!

I hope you’ve been inspired to try something new!

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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Table Runner & Mats!

By Judith on March 28, 2016
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Seapark, Holywood

It was a typical spring day here today!  Sunshine and showers!


Seapark, Holywood


Our walk along the beach was what you would call ‘bracing’! But no matter the season, there is always beauty to be found.


Seapark, Holywood


Back in the warmth of the indoors, let’s talk table runners!


DP Table Runner & Mats (British Patchwork & Quilting, April'16)
Photo courtesy of British Patchwork & Quilting


This is my Drunkard’s Path Table Runner and Mats set, as featured in the April issue of British Patchwork & Quilting.


DP Table Runner & Placemats - British Patchwork & Quilting (April16)

The inspiration for this design came from the lovely Aylin, who I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in person (love our blogging community!).  Aylin very kindly gave me permission to develop this design further, following the beautiful cushion she made.


DP Table Runner & Placemats - British Patchwork & Quilting (April16)
The curves are achieved by using an age old patchwork technique called ‘drunkard’s path’.  This is a modern twist, and I love the many variations the Drunkard’s Path units can create.
It is important to cut out the templates accurately when tackling curved piecing, but if you have a Sizzix cutting machine, you are guaranteed speed and accuracy! The Drunkard’s Patch Sizzix dies don’t come cheap, (you need 2 dies to make up the DP unit) but in my opinion they are well worth the money.
DP Table Runner & Placemats - British Patchwork & Quilting (April16)

There are several ways to sew curves, and as with any technique you haven’t tried before, I recommend practicing on some fabric scraps first. This pattern explains the ‘no pin’ method of sewing curves, which may seem daunting at first, but it is much quicker than traditional methods and you quickly get into a rhythm with it.


So if you love sewing curves as much as me, pick up a copy of BPQ today!

Edited: This pattern is now available to purchase from here.


Keep warm!


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