‘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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Garden Trellis Cushions


By Judith on June 3, 2017
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Hello everyone, how is your weekend going?

 

We are slowly getting outnumbered by cardboard boxes here, as we prepare to move house later this month!

 

So as a little distraction from all the packing, I thought I would tell you about 2 pretty little cushions I made for Pretty Patches magazine.

 

 

Back in 2013 I made my daughter these cushions for her birthday. I thought I would have another go using my design, but this time with the summery fabrics from Lewis and Irene, called Flo’s Little Garden.

 

Garden Trellis Cushions (Pretty Patches June17)

 

I’ve called them Garden Trellis.  The Kona Snow trellis in one cushion provides little windows to view the pretty flowers, while in the other cushion, the ditsy florals are climbing up the trellis.

 

 

Simple ‘echo’ quilting make this a beginner friendly project, with an easy envelope closure at the back.

 

 

I finished the cushions with a crochet trim.  To do this, hand sew a blanket stitch first with the crochet cotton (I used DMC Natura Just Cotton in Ivory).  You will need a sharp darning needle with a big enough eye to take the crochet cotton.

 

The blanket stitches act like a foundation row to start crocheting into. Work 3 double crochet into each blanket stitch, then 3 chain loops into every 3rd double crochet.  Finally, work 1 double crochet, 4 treble crochet, 1 double crochet into each chain loop.

 

Garden Trellis Cushions (Pretty Patches June17)

 

Don’t worry if you aren’t a crocheter.  The cushions are complete without adding a crochet trim.  Alternatively, sew a ready-made crochet trim into the seams between the front and back of the cushion before the final assembly.

 

 

So there we have it!  2 pretty, summery cushions, sadly ready for the packing boxes!

 

Enjoy your weekend!

 

 

 

 

 

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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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Hugs & Kisses Quilt


By Judith on February 8, 2017
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I often end my texts and emails with ‘Jxo’, my affectionate way of signing off with my initial followed by ‘kiss, hug’.

And this is how it translates into a bright and happy quilt!

 

 

Hugs & Kisses Quilt (Pretty Patches Feb17)

 

 

I submitted this to the February issue of Pretty Patches magazine, who wanted to brighten the dreary dark days of winter with a colourful and cheery issue.

 

 

Hugs & Kisses Quilt (Pretty Patches Feb17)

 

 

This is a great scrap buster project, or you could run with a specific colourway e.g. summery pinks and yellows for a little girl ….

 

 

 

 

…. soft modern greys and blues for a boy!

 

 

 

 

The blocks are simple to piece together, and you could easily size the quilt up or down to suit.

 

 

Hugs & Kisses Quilt (Pretty Patches Feb17)

 

 

 

So however you plan to celebrate your Valentines day this month, make sure it involves a cosy quilt made with love!

 

 

Hugs & Kisses Quilt (Pretty Patches Feb17)

 

 

Happy sewing

 

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Mixed Textiles Robin Cushion


By Judith on December 7, 2016
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In the December issue of Pretty Patches magazine, you might find this cheeky chappie making a song and dance of things!

 

Christmas Robin (mixed textiles) for Pretty Patches (Dec16)

 

Many of you will know that my first love in ‘all things fabric’ are recycled textiles.  I have a particular obsession fondess for tweed, linen, wool and corduroy.

 

Christmas Robin Cushion for Pretty Patches (Dec16)

 

The only items officially ‘purchased’ in this cushion are the background (Tilda) and the berries!

 

Christmas Robin Cushion for Pretty Patches (Dec16)

 

I love mixing textures and textiles!  Here we have sumptuous tweed, soft red wool, tactile cord, a vintage curtain remnant and a few scraps of good old fashioned quilting cotton. Oh what fun I had playing putting these together.

 

I also love satin stitch applique, but I knew with these thicker fabrics standard thread would disappear into the nap.

 

 

So out come the 12wt Aurifil wool threads! These are thick enough to use for hand embroidery, but not too thick to put through the eye of a size 90 machine needle. Win, win! (You can find a great selection here.)

 

As the design came together, I knew I wanted ‘berries’ in the corners.  I scratched my head for a few minutes, and then came up with a plan!

 

 

I un-threaded some jumbo pompom trim I had leftover from another project.  Then I ‘couched’ or satin stitched 3 thread stems together to create a little cluster of berries.  This made it super easy to sew them into the corners of the cushion.

 

Christmas Robin Cushion for Pretty Patches (Dec16)

 

A simple envelope backing and you have the perfect gift for all bird and nature lovers everywhere (not forgetting all the tweed & corduroy lovers too!).

 

Christmas Robin Cushion for Pretty Patches (Dec16)

 

My recycled, chirping Robin may be in the Christmas issue, but like the loyal and territorial real birds, I think he’ll stick around all year long!

 

So what type of fabrics make your heart skip a beat?

 

Happy bird watching!

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Hearts & Patches Quilt


By Judith on October 20, 2016
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p1120878
I have a particular soft spot for Tilda fabrics.  I love the calming colours and the vintagey feel the ditsy florals and spots evoke.
Hearts and Patches Tilda Quilt (Pretty Patches Nov16)
‘Autumn Tree’ is a collection that came out last year, and is still available to purchase.
Hearts and Patches Tilda Quilt (Pretty Patches Nov16)
I went with simple 16 patch ‘on point’ blocks with appliqued hearts for my autumn quilt submission to Pretty Patches magazine.

And they put it on the front cover!  Woohoo!
Hearts & Patches Tilda Quilt (Pretty Patches Nov16)
I definitely think there will be more Tilda quilts in my future!
Hearts and Patches Tilda Quilt (Pretty Patches Nov16)
Happy sewing!

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Autumn Tree Wallhanging


By Judith on September 18, 2016
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Now that I am embracing Autumn, I can show you one of my favourite makes of this year!

 

Autumn Tree Wallhanging (Pretty Patches Oct16 issues)
This is ‘Autumn Tree’, an applique wallhanging measuring 27″ x 30″, which I will definitely be displaying in my home.
Autumn Tree Wallhanging (Pretty Patches Oct16 issues)

 

I adore the warm autumnal purples and pinks in Denyse Schmidt’s Chicopee range, especially on a Kona Bone background.  In fact, the leaf shapes are the by-product of the Sizzix Drunkard’s Path Fan die!!  I always keep these shapely leftovers, and was so pleased to be able to turn some of them into a seasonal project.

Useful tip:  Quilt your background first before appliquing on the shapes.  This means you don’t have those head-scratching moments when trying to decide how to quilt around the shapes.

 

 

Satin stitch is my favourite applique technique, and I think it suits the clean lines of the leaves and trunk.

Autumn Tree Wallhanging (Pretty Patches Oct16 issue)

The pattern for this wallhanging is in the October issue of Pretty Patches Magazine.

And maybe one day I will make Spring, Summer & Winter/Christmas versions to hang up with each changing season!!

Hope you are off to a great Autumn!

Jude xo

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Retro Beach Bag


By Judith on July 24, 2016
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I have a confession to make!

I’m a closet hippy!  Born a decade too late, I’ve been repressed ever since!!

So nothing delights me more than sewing with retro, funky fabric!

 

Beach Bag (Pretty Patches Aug16)
Fabric is ‘Linen Cupboard’ by Emma Jean Jansen for Ella Blue

 

This is my Retro Beach Bag in the August issue of Pretty Patches.

Beach Bag (Pretty Patches Aug16)

I love the simplicity of beach bags – roomy, sturdy and with ‘make it easier’ features like webbing for handles and mesh for outside pockets.

 

 

I also love projects that are functional and practical, so I’ve made the lining with wipeable Rip-Stop nylon, and a detachable ‘wet bag’ for your swimming costume and drippy sun lotions.

 

Beach Bag (Pretty Patches Aug16)

 

I know some of you have a ‘zip phobia’, but trust me when I say this is one of the easiest ways to insert a zipper.  The entire bag is made first, and then the zip is top stitched onto the top of the bag.

Simples!

Here’s the same pattern done in Ikea ‘deco’ weight fabrics (unquilted).

 

Bethany's Beach Bag

 

So if you don’t want an over-complicated, summer bag, have a go at this beginner friendly pattern and get in touch with your inner hippy!

Peace man!

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Travel Sewing Pouch


By Judith on June 26, 2016
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A few years ago I made a travel sewing pouch and ran a class teaching it. It proved really popular because a) it was easy to make and b) people saw a variety of uses for it!

Travel Sewing Pouch (Pretty Patches July16)


Pretty Patches Magazine really liked it too, and have published it in their July issue!

Travel Sewing Pouch (Pretty Patches July16)


This is a great pouch for bringing all your essential sewing equipment away on holiday.

Travel Sewing Pouch (Pretty Patches July16)
The pockets can be customised to suit your equipment, and there’s a handy zippered pocket in the back too!
Of course, you could translate this pouch into a travel art supplies case, beauty supplies, or for keeping electronic devises safe.

Travel Sewing Pouch (Pretty Patches July16)

They also make great presents for sewing buddies!
So where are you heading off to this summer?

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Denim Sail Boat Cushion


By Judith on June 19, 2016
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Hello everyone!  My that’s another week gone!

How has your week been?

My June is always a little crazy, but exams are over, Uni daughter comes home for a visit on Thursday, so all is right with the world!

Did I ever tell you that I love recycling denim (only once or twice right! Wink! Wink!).

Sometimes an idea just comes on me and I have to run with it.

Denim Sailboat Cushion (Pretty Patches July16)


This started out as a little denim ‘play therapy’!  I had a clutch of Aurifil 12wt wool threads which I knew would marry the denim perfectly!

And so a little fun applique project turned into a cushion commission for Pretty Patches Magazine.

This was my first time using Aurifil 12wt threads in my machine.  I used them for some of the details, but not the main satin stitch applique.

Denim Sailboat Cushion (Pretty Patches July16)

I had used Coats Creative thread before in this way, and really liked the effect. But it’s difficult getting a wide range of shades in Coats Creative thread.  Aurifil however have a lovely range of 12wt colours, and with a size 100 needle, it ran through my machine like a dream (I used normal cotton thread in the bobbin).

My favourite bit is the uniquely worn part of the ‘sea’ – can you guess which part of the jeans this came from!!

You could easily substitute the denim for quilting cotton if you don’t have spare jeans lying around!!

So if you fancy dreaming of sailing away on the summer seas, then pick up a copy of Pretty Patches (July) today!

Happy Sailing!

 

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Garden Shed Tidy!


By Judith on April 26, 2016
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Despite the chill factor, the sunny skies we’ve been having recently mean it is gardening weather once again!

Have you got your summer seeds ready yet?  I’ve already planted some beetroot and sunflowers, and am trying purple carrots for the first time this year!

So here’s a wee project for all you keen gardeners (& sewers) out there!

Garden Shed Tidy (Pretty Patches May16)
Photo courtesy of Pretty Patches


This is my Garden Shed Tidy, in the May issue of Pretty Patches.

Garden Shed Tidy

Handy see through pockets mean you can easily keep an eye on all those seed packets and smaller knick-knacks!  Don’t worry, sewing with pvc isn’t as tricky as you might think!

Garden Shed Tidy

 

And you can keep your scissors and string handy on the clip-on key fobs!

You could easily adapt this tidy to suit a bathroom or bedroom, or even keeping stray envelopes and stamps in order!

Whatever you decide to tidy, enjoy the process and the results!

Happy gardening!

Jude xo

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Spring Rain Quilt!


By Judith on April 14, 2016
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Spring rain is something we get lots of here in N.Ireland!!  In fact we also get lots of Summer, Autumn and Winter rain too!

But I’m hoping you could live with this kind of spring rain all year round!!

Spring Rain Quilt (April Issue Pretty Patches)
63″ x 63″

 


This is my ‘Spring Rain’ quilt, as seen in the April issue of Pretty Patches.

Pretty Patches very kindly sent me the cutest bundle of fabrics called ‘Spring Walk’ by Little Cube.

Spring Walk

While spring can inspire many images, I immediately thought of raindrops (I wonder why!!) and showcased the fabrics in raindrop shaped portholes.

Spring Rain Quilt (April Issue Pretty Patches)
I really enjoyed making this quilt and it was such a lovely bonus to see it on the front cover!
Spring Rain Quilt (April issue Pretty Patches)
One of the many things I love about spring is that it is the season of growth!  I have been doing a lot of personal growing lately, getting fitter physically and mentally.
And all the new growth in my little garden is a lovely reminder that no matter what is going on in our lives, there are always new opportunities to grow!
My garden (spring)
My garden (spring)
My garden (spring)

Happy growing!
Jude xo

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Bunny Bags (part 1)!


By Judith on March 2, 2016
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Now that we are into March, the focus turns to Easter!

With just over 3 weeks to go, there’s still plenty of time to get in some fun Easter crafting (especially if the weather continues like this)!

Rainy day

 


Over the next week or two I’ll be running a mini-series of tutorials on ‘Easter makes’ (as you can imagine, most of them involve chocolate in some way or another!).

But before I get to that, let me show you my Bunny Bags currently featuring in the March issue of Pretty Patches Magazine.

Bunny Bags / Pretty Patches March'16

I love piecing more than applique, and so designed a patchwork bunny with hand embroidered details on the face.  I knew this bunny would become a bag, (perhaps for collecting eggs during an Easter egg hunt) but thought it was a little too big for a smaller child.  And so the mini bag was born!

Bunny Bags / Pretty Patches March'16
The ‘heads’ are both worked to the same dimensions, despite the mini bunny looking bigger!


They are called ‘Big Sis, Little Sis Bunny Bags’ and I used my trusty Essex Linen for the main bags.

Bunny Bags / Pretty Patches March'16
So if you need fun bags for collecting Easter eggs, or just love bunnies, then pick up a copy of Pretty Patches for the patterns for both bags.
Easter Bunny Bags in Pretty Patches (March)

Jude xo

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