Saturday, 6 August 2016

Back to School Pouch!

Here in N.Ireland we have really loooooooong school summer holidays.  They start off slowly at the end of June, but seem to really speed up in August as we hurtle towards September!

We are already in the throws of school uniform buying in the Hollies' household!

So my 'Back to School' Pencil case in this month's issue of Quilt Now is quite timely!

Back to School Pouch (Quilt Now)

I love these colours on the Essex Yarn Dyed Linen (denim). 

And on the other side ......

Back to School Pouch (Quilt Now)

If you want to banish your fear of zippers, this is a lovely project to get in some practise. The pattern will talk you through how to insert the zipper, and how to make covered zip ends to get a lovely finish to your pouch.

ABC Pouch for Quilt Now (Aug16)

This is a really roomy pouch, so no excuses for forgetting school supplies!!

And if you'd like to get some of this quality linen/cotton mix, you can find it here in my shop.

Happy sewing!

Jude xo

Friday, 29 July 2016

Bobbles Picnic Quilt

Happy Friday to you all!

We had gorgeous blue skies today!

Lighthouse, Donaghadee
Donaghadee Lighthouse

The perfect day for a picnic perhaps?

Picnic Bobble Quilt (Popular Patchwork Aug16)

This is my Bobbles Picnic Quilt, currently featured in the August issue of Popular Patchwork.

Picnic Bobble Quilt (Popular Patchwork Aug16)

I love jumbo pompoms (these ones are 20mm, available from Frumble Fabrics). 

Picnic Bobble Quilt (Popular Patchwork Aug16)

This pattern starts off with 36 x 10" squares, so you could easily use a layer cake here. 

Picnic Bobble Quilt (Popular Patchwork Aug16)

I've quilted the quilt with a calico backing first, then added the pompom trim and a water resistant back (washable shower curtain) using the 'bagging out' method. A few extra stitches in the centre of the blocks keeps all the layers neatly together.

Picnic Bobble Quilt (Popular Patchwork Aug16)

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we get lots more 'blue sky' days so I can christen my picnic quilt!

Happy picnic-ing!

Jude xo

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Retro Beach Bag!

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.


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!

Jude xo

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Scrappy Summer Rail Fence

We've been experiencing something of a mini heatwave here in the UK this week!

Almost too hot to get out and enjoy some local delights (well, I did say almost!).

Castle Ward July16
view from Castle Ward
Castle Ward July16

Castle Ward July16

Bangor Walled Gardens July16
Bangor Walled Gardens

Bangor Walled Gardens July16

Bangor Walled Gardens July16

While my sewing room has been 'closed' for 2 weeks, it's the perfect time of year to show you my Summer Rail Fence quilt!

Summer Rail Fence Quilt (Pretty Patches Aug16)

This pattern is in the August issue of Pretty Patches (out now) and was the result of a fun weekend earlier in the year playing with scrappy strips!

Summer Rail Fence Quilt (Pretty Patches Aug16)

I love the summery combo of oranges, soft yellows, pinks and teals, combined with the earthy brown stripe. Just look at the lovely styling it gets on the coordinated orange front cover!

Summer Rail Fence Quilt (Pretty Patches Aug16)

The rail fence design is a classic, but there are many ways to give it a modern twist! And it is beginner friendly piecing too!

Summer Rail Fence Quilt (Pretty Patches Aug16)

This would be an easy quilt to make for other seasons (think fresh Spring greens and yellows, warm Autumnal plums and browns) or even a Christmas version!

Summer Rail Fence Quilt (Pretty Patches Aug16)

And of course, a great scrap buster project too!

Wishing you all some fun in the sun!

Jude xo

Monday, 11 July 2016

Mori Girl Travel Pouch

Travel Washbag

If you are lucky enough to be heading off on your travels this summer, you might need a giant pouch to keep all those toiletries and suncreams in!! 

Travel Washbag

The lovely peeps at Quilt Now sent me the cutest fabrics by Dashwood Studios called Mori Girl!

Travel Washbag

As you can see, this pouch has stacks of room, with a zipper inserted along the top finished edge.

Additional features are a narrow piping trim on the outside and a detachable 'wet bag' for your toothbrush and cloth.

Travel Washbag

The 'wet bag' is lined with Rip-stop nylon, a sturdy wipeable and machine washable fabric. You could easily line the travel pouch with Rip-stop too and turn it into a wash bag.

The pattern for this travel pouch is in the July issue of Quilt Now, in the shops now!

Happy travels!

Jude xo

Monday, 4 July 2016

Summer Soft!

Happy 4th of July to all my American friends!!

The weather here has been rubbish, so I'm just going to pretend it is summer, that it's 28 degrees outside, and that I'm still sitting in my garden with a cold pear cider in hand!! (indulge me!)

'Summer Soft' Quilt (British Patchwork & Quilting July16)
Photo by British Patchwork & Quilting
This is 'Summer Soft'.

She is made from the sumptuously soft 'feel the difference' fabrics by Art Gallery (Bazaar Style, Paradise & Dreaming in French collections).

Summer Soft Quilt (British Patchwork & Quilting July16)
Finished size 62" x 62"
Perfect for long summer evenings in the garden! (still dreaming!)

Summer Soft Quilt (British Patchwork & Quilting July16)

This is a great 'beginner friendly' project with simple piecing and repeating blocks, and you can find the pattern in the July issue of British Patchwork and Quilting magazine.
'Summer Soft' Quilt (British Patchwork & Quilting July16)
I hope you are enjoying some sunshine wherever you are!

Happy sunning!

Jude xo

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Not For Wimps!

Today saw the end of another year of teaching my Patchwork and Quilting classes!

I teach 4 (sometimes 5) classes a week and the topics of conversation that take place are varied and entertaining!

To give you an idea, here are a few of my favourites:

English football (the less said the better!)
The Great British Sewing Bee (and the 'unique' dress code of one of the judges!)
How hot and wrinkled Egyptian cotton sheets can get (don't ask!)
How to treat achne!
How to get rid of garden snails!
How to disable your hockey opponent!
Birthing calves and lambs (& babies!)
50 ways to deal with an unhelpful doctor (un-printable!)

Of course there are many serious and thought-provoking conversations too!

Today one lady said 'getting old isn't for wimps', which was swiftly followed by murmurs of agreement from around the room.

I've just had another birthday, and while 'half way to 90' isn't old, neither am I young.

My daughter and nephew also celebrating birthdays this month!
In truth this statement could apply to life - 'doing life isn't for wimps'. Among the 48 ladies I have the privilege of teaching each week, some are battling cancer or illness, divorce and loss, children with special needs, caring for elderly parents, teenagers, anxiety, worry and fear and many more life challenges.

One of our recent chats in class was about how to get through life with a positive attitude, seeing good and bad times as an opportunity to grow and learn, and how to have courage to live life with intention and purpose. How inspiring!

Doing life, and doing it well, isn't for whimps!  But each week my ladies turn up to class with a smile; they laugh, chatter, encourage, cajole, drink tea, eat biscuits and even sew a little!

They are choosing to do life, and do it well. There are certainly no wimps in my classes!!

Thank you ladies for sharing your thoughts, talents, hearts and authenticity each week.

Wishing you all a creative summer break!

Jude xo