Sewing For Charity!


By Judith on March 9, 2017
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Quilters are among the most generous, big-hearted humans I know! Always quick to respond to the needs of others in the ways they know best, quilting!

 

Recently on my Facebook Group, The Sewing Surgery, a request for sewers to make Syringe Driver Bags came through from Marie Curie Cancer Care, via a group member.

 

Folks in the group immediately responded, and pictures of syringe driver bags started appearing!  Big pat on the back TSS members!

 

2 Syringe Driver Bags I made

 

These bags are in constant need by Marie Curie, so if you would like to make one to send to them, you can get the pattern and details here.

 

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Another brilliant UK charity supported by quilters is Siblings Together. Each year, we try to make 100 quilts to give to children at summer camps. These kids are separated from their siblings by the care system.  They join up with their siblings at camp and the quilts are given out at the end of the camp, as a comforting reminder of their time together.

 

In addition to individuals making quilts for ST, there are also several quilting bees supporting ST.  I’m in one of them (Siblings Together Bee 2) and, with the help of my bee mates, I’ve managed to complete 1 quilt so far.

STB2 Canvas Quilt 2017

 

This is Canvas quilt (named after the Canvas blocks we made). As you can see it’s a colourful, scrappy quilt, and at 60″ x 72″, will make a great big quilty hug for a child at ST.

 

 

The quilt has been beautifully quilted by a good friend, bound in my trusty black and white stripe fabric and labelled ready to be posted to ST.

 

My 2nd ST quilt isn’t too far away from completion either! A big thank you to my ST bee mates for their contributions to these quilts.

 

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And finally, another charity quilting bee close to my heart is Bee Blessed. A Belfast based group of ladies meet once a month to make quilts for those in need. This group is brilliantly supported by quilting bloggers too!

You can read all about the quilt donations and monthly blocks here. (There’s a particularly adorable recipient enjoying her new quilt here!)

Giving a little time and fabric in this way is so rewarding! So if you have been inspired to help any of these worthwhile causes in any way, please let me know and I can point you in the right direction.

Happy giving!

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Wonky Star Block Tutorial


By Judith on January 31, 2017
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I get to be ‘Queen Bee’ again for February in Siblings Together Bee 2.

 

And thanks to Sue (a fellow bee mate), I hit on the perfect idea for which block to set.

 

 

A while a go Sue offered up her UFO (unfinished objects) pile of wonky star blocks, some made and some still in pieces.

 

I happily relieved them from her as a potential Siblings Together quilt!

 

 

These are super quick and easy blocks to make.  And here is the tutorial for my ST peeps and anyone else who fancies making this scrappy block.

 

Makes 1 x 12.5″ unfinished block

Use 1/4″ seam allowance

Cut out:

4 x 4.5″ squares of dark fabrics

4 x 4.5″ squares of light fabrics (same colourway as dark fabrics)

1 x 4.5″ square of white fabric (centre square)

4 x 4.5″ squares of white fabric, cut in half diagonally (star points)

Method:

1. Put the 4 light squares to one side. These will become the 4 corners.

2. Take a dark square and position a white triangle on it as shown (doesn’t have to be exact positioning). Sew along the diagonal edge of the white triangle, taking care not to stretch the bias edge.

 

 

3. Cut away the excess dark fabric at the corner, level with the white fabric.

 

 

4. Press the seam towards the dark fabric.

 

 

5. Position the 2nd white triangle diagonally across the first white triangle as shown (make sure the lower tip of the 2nd triangle extends past the bottom edge of the dark square). Again sew along the diagonal edge of the 2nd triangle.

 

 

6. Cut away the excess of both dark and white fabrics at the corner, level with the 2nd triangle.

 

 

7. Press the seam towards the dark fabric.

 

 

8. Place the unit onto your cutting mat, with the white triangles positioned at the top. Place a small square ruler on top, aligning the bottom & right hand edges of the block with the 4.5″ lines on the ruler. Trim the top and right hand edges of the block.

 

 

9. Turn the unit 180 degrees and repeat the trimming for the ‘new’ right hand edge. The unit should now measure 4.5″ square.

 

 

10. Repeat steps 2 – 9 3 more times.

11. Layout the block units in 3 rows as shown. Sew the units right sides together in each row.

 

 

12. Press the seams of rows 1 and 3 AWAY from the centre. Press the seams of row 2 TOWARDS the centre.

 

 

13. Join the rows right sides together, taking care to butt/nest the intersecting seams. Press all new seams open.  The block should measure 12.5″ square.

 

 

Thanking my ST buddies in advance!  Looking forward to receiving these colourful scrappy blocks.

Happy sewing!

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Bee Blocks & Secret Santa!


By Judith on January 22, 2017
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After a wee break in December, we were back making bee blocks in January for Siblings Together (Bee 2).

 

STB2 Blocks for Sue

 

Sue was queen bee for January, and set this Tic Tac Toe block, with black on white backgrounds and colourful prints for the rest. (here is the tutorial if you fancy having a go at this easy block)

 

I was queen bee in September, and set the Canvas block.  Last week I managed to get them all sewn together into a sizeable flimsy!

 

Siblings Together Bee 2 (Canvas blocks) Quilt top Jan17

 

I’m taking a 2nd stint as Queen bee, so its my turn again in February!  Watch this space!

 

In September 2015, Brit Bee started our 4th round. If you’ve been keeping up with us, you will know we never stick to the annual schedule! But we are a forgiving and patient lot, forged by longevity and great friendships!

 

By some miracle I have managed to keep up with the schedule (ish!) and earlier this month I made the last block!  Woohoo!

 

Brit Bee R4 block for Katy Jan17

 

This one is for Katy, in her chosen solids, and the block was designed by Hadley.

 

As the first one finished, I’ll try hard not to capitalise on bragging rights at our Brit Bee retreat next month!

 

One of our traditions in Brit Bee is to exchange Secret Santa gifts at Christmas.  In previous years we’ve done things like, cushions, decorations, pin-cushions.

 

This year we went for zippy pouches – you can see what I made for Katy here.

 

And what did I get?

 

My Brit Bee Secret Santa gift!

 

Only this gorgeous package of cuteness from Ange!

 

My Brit Bee Secret Santa gift!

 

Isn’t it adorable!  And I have a feeling it will come in handy for travelling to our retreat!

 

Happy sewing!

 

 

 

 

 

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Blocks-a-plenty!


By Judith on November 18, 2016
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Hi everyone, I hope you are having a great November so far!

Outside of my normal teaching, sewing and pattern writing hours, I’ve been keeping up with my bee block commitments.

In Siblings Together this month, we have been making ‘boy’ blocks for Doti:

 

STB2 blocks for Dorfymid
Also for Siblings Together, I made 4 more canvas blocks.  It was my month in September, where I set the Canvas block. I was only 4 blcoks short and now that I have 30 blocks, I can get the quilt completed.
Canvas blocks for STB2
For Brit Bee this month, I had to make a block for Jo, which was designed by Angie!  These are the colours Jo has chosen for her quilt – I hope she likes it!
Brit Bee R4 block for Jo
So that’s my block round-up for November.
And I hope to have some really exciting news to announce here soon! Watch this space!
Happy sewing!
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Bee Block Bonanza!


By Judith on October 20, 2016
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I support 2 charity quilting groups – Bee Blessed and Siblings Together.

This means making different blocks for them each month, which is a non-demanding way of supporting these wonderful causes.

Here is a wee round up of my recent bee blocks.

In Bee Blessed, we were making Woven blocks in pastels for September …..

Bee Blessed Blocks (Sept16)

…. and Wonky Cross blocks in ‘male appropriate’ colours for October.

Bee Blessed blocks (Oct16)

In Siblings Together Bee 2 I got to set the block for September, and requested Canvas blocks, in any 2 colour-ways. Here are what I have received from the other ladies in the bee:

Canvas blocks for STB2 Sept16

I only need to make 5 more blocks, and after putting it out for consultation (asking a few sewing friends on FB!) it was decided that I should make the remaining blocks in purple, yellow, pink & green!

Oct16 STB2 blocks for Jenny/Lilac Cat

October’s blocks in STB2 are these fabulously scrappy 16″ blocks. These were so much fun to make, because they were scrappy (my fav) and the irregular improv angles meant they were super quick too!

So that’s me up-to-date with my bee commitments!

And it’s half-way through October already! So I’ll leave you with a few of my recent Autumn pics!

Autumn Oct16
Autumn Oct16
Autumn Oct16
Autumn Oct16

Happy scrunching!

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Bee-utiful!


By Judith on May 29, 2016
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I knew summer was just around the corner!

Rowallane National Trust House & Gardens May16


The particular corner today was Rowallane House and Gardens, owned by National Trust.

Rowallane National Trust May16
Rowallane National Trust May16
Rowallane National Trust May16

A truly inspiring place with the ‘all time’ best climbing tree ever!

Not too many bees around yet, but here are some ‘bee’ blocks I’ve been making.

Quarter Log Cabin blocks for STB2


First up, Corner Log Cabin blocks for Siblings Together Bee 2. The special request from Charlo on these blocks were reds, blues and greys. Another boy quilt perhaps?

June blocks for Bee Blessed


And the Bee Blessed Blocks for May are Sarah’s Frame Box Blocks (try saying all of that after a glass of wine!).

Sarah has written a brill tutorial for these super quick and scrappy friendly blocks here.  And to see more about the wonderful ladies behind Bee Blessed, see some rare footage here.  They are doing an amazing job, and blessing so many people and families.  If you can support this great work by making a block or two I know they would love to hear from you.

Happy sewing!

Jude xo

 

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Mama Hen Quilt Complete!


By Judith on April 13, 2016
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The drive to make 100 quilts for Siblings Together summer camps 2016 continues.

The lovely ladies in the Siblings Together Bee 2 have been helping me put together a quilt full of hens!

Siblings Together Bee 2 Mama Hen quilt finished!

 


11 Mama Hens flew back to Belfast to join my blue Mama Hen!

Siblings Together Bee 2 Mama Hen quilt finished!

Aren’t they sweet!  And the backing was donated by Sarah (love this generous quilting community).

Siblings Together Bee 2 Mama Hen quilt finished!

 

So that’s my ST quilt all labelled and ready to be posted.

The siblings who receive these quilts have been separated by the care system, and get to spend 2 weeks together each summer. The feedback from the charity is that these quilts mean so much to the children who receive them, especially when they realise they get to keep them!

You can read more here about Siblings Together and the stories behind the quilts.

And I’ll have another post later this week on how you can help with the ST quilt drive in a super easy and quick way!

Happy Sewing!

Jude xo

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Dog Gone Cute!


By Judith on April 10, 2016
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This month in Siblings Together Bee 2 we were making doggie blocks.

Dog Block for STB2/April16
18″ x 14″

 
This is the large block pattern by Sew Fresh Quilts, as chosen by Sally.
Sally gave us free reign regarding colour, as long as the background was bright! I really love how these blocks turn out, but be warned, they are stitch-ripper friendly!!
In other bee news, Bee Blessed are asking for Modified Bento Blocks this month, untrimmed and unquartered:
Bee Blessed blocks April16

At this stage the blocks are 16″ square, but the talented ladies at Bee Blessed will work their magic on them to turn them into something like this.
If you would like to make a small dent in your scraps box, and contribute to a very worthy charity group, Bee Blessed would love to receive a few blocks.  You can get all the details and tutorial here.
And before I go, I’ll leave you with a few pics of my own cute doggy, Poppy.
Poppy
Poppy
Happy sewing!
Jude xo

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Back In The Saddle!


By Judith on April 1, 2016
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(Message for Rosemary/Nellieduclos: I’m unable to reply to you directly as your email address doesn’t register with your comment.  The tutorial you are looking for is here on my Tutorials page.)

We’ve had some beautiful sunny days here this week!  And March seemed to go out like a lamb yesterday!  A perfect end to the Easter holidays.

But the Lion seemed to come back today! Boo!

Nevermind, it’s a new month, which means new seasons to come! Yay!

Here is my round up mosaic for March:

March16 Roundup

 


I also got these bee blocks done for Siblings Together Bee 2 …

Siblings Together Bee2 blocks for Theresa

…and some scrappy rail-fence blocks for Bee Blessed.

Bee Blessed Rail Fence blocks March16
Bee Blessed is back at the production wheel tomorrow!  You can keep up to date with all our progress and monthly block requests over on the Bee Blessed Blog!  And check out the 2 quilts Bee Blessed are donating to Siblings Together this year!
Happy sewing!
Jude xo

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Selvedges, Discounted Fabrics and More!


By Judith on March 5, 2016
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We had some beautiful sunny days recently!

Mama Hen Quilt Top for Siblings Together

 


Just look at that blue sky!

This is my Siblings Together Bee 2 quilt top – borders are on and all ready to be quilted.

Siblings Together Bee2 blocks for Theresa

 
And these 8″ Disappearing 4 Patch blocks are on their way to Theresa/Hilly Filly as Miss March in Siblings Together Bee 2.

I had a little sort through my selvedges the other day.  These are my selvedge jars AFTER I have sorted through them and eliminated those I can’t use!!

Sorting Selvedges!

 


As you can see, it’s quite a squeeze!!  I hope I get some play-time soon with these lovelies.

And speaking of lovelies, have a look at these!

Discounted Fabrics in my Etsy shop

 
These fabrics (& more) are now listed in my Etsy shop at silly prices!  Designers like Amy Butler, Valori Wells, Tanya Whelan, starting at £4 per metre.

So if you want to bag a bargain, be quick as stock is limited.

Happy shopping!

Jude xo

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Hedgehogs!


By Judith on February 21, 2016
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The theme this month in the Siblings Together Bee 2 is Hedgehogs!

Hedgehogs for Ann/Siblings Together Bee 2
My blocks

These cute little fellas are the brain child of Melly and Me!

This is the original pattern by Melly and Me, which you can purchase here.
(As you can see, in Siblings Together we are going for a more ‘brights and scrappy’ look with our blocks!)
I know some people adore hedgehogs, so get ready for some cuteness overload!
Meet Hollie!  Isn’t she a cutie (and also made and designed by Melly and Me)!
To make your very own Hollie the Hedgehog go here to get the Melly and Me pattern.
Now if you know me well, you may know that I haven’t always had such positive encounters with said ‘hogs’!  Suffice to say, several early morning experiences involving my dog, a large mixing bowl, and airborne hogs into the local school grounds will just about cover it!  ‘Nuff said!
(No hedgehogs were injured in said relocation – I know because THEY KEPT COMING BACK INTO MY GARDEN!)
And breathe!
Jude xo

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My Favourite Bag!


By Judith on February 17, 2016
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Also in Popular Patchwork (March issue) is one of my most favourite bags!

Qayg bag for Popular Patchwork Mar16

 


It’s my favourite bag because the ‘quilt as you go’ technique is one of my favourite quilting techniques and I get to continue my love affair with scraps!

QAYG Shopping Bag class sample

 
I love the texture QAYG creates, and it’s perfect for projects where you need a little more structure.

QAYG Mosaic
My pattern will show you how to ‘quilt as you go’ and also how to insert a recessed zipper, perfect for keeping all your fabric purchases essentials secure!
Hmmm, all this talk about QAYG makes me want to make something else using this fun technique! It’s not like I don’t have plenty of scraps to choose from after all!
Do you have a favourite quilting technique?
Jude xo

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