Thursday, 28 February 2013

Bee Blessed March Block

I recently pinned a really lovely block and thought it would be an excellent one for Bee Blessed to try for March.
By Happy Zombie

As you can see, there are 2 blocks here, using the same pattern but reversing the prints.  We'd love it if you would like to have a go at a nut or bolt block, or both! 
Last year Bee Blessed donated a quilt to Siblings Together, and we will be doing so again this year.  We would like these Nuts and Bolts blocks to make up the ST quilt.
So, you can find the tutorial here.  Please follow the cutting instructions for a 12" block & as always, please use plain white as the background (as shown above). As this quilt will be for a child or teenager, please keep to a 'brights' colour theme.

Thank you wonderful ladies for your continued support. 


Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Donating Wonky Chevrons!

Last September it was my month to be Queen Bee in the Hipbees quilting bee.

I asked these super talented ladies to each make me a Wonky Chevron block with some rainbow scraps I sent them, and they didn't disappoint!

Hipbees wonky chevron quilt

Here they all are, sewn together, with the extra yellow chevrons that Di kindly made, in the borders.

It was so bright and sunny earlier this week when I snapped this, that the yellow gingham border looks really insipid.  But rest assured, it isn't half as washed out as it appears here!

I've thought long and hard about what to 'do' with this quilt, and after running an idea past my lovely Hipbee ladies, have decided to donate this cot size quilt to our local Mums and Babies HIV unit. 

Bee Blessed have been making kiddy quilts for this unit recently, and this one will join the growing pile which will soon be handed over to some very needy families.

And the other sewing I've done this week ...

Spiders Web Block Feb13

... a scrappy Spider's web block for Thursday's Block Party class.

And I've also been chopping into these ...

FQs for Jonah's quilt

... which will hopefully become a 'boy' quilt for a very special wee man!

Happy Wednesday!


Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Only Sisters Know!

It's my favourite sister's birthday next week (I only have 1 sister lol!).

She has requested a 'bag for life', which I will of course make her, but I was wanting to make her something a little less boring more creatively challenging!

My sister is 5 years my senior, and I grew up in awe of her, always wanting to be like her, have her wonderful clothes and confidence!

It wasn't until I was an adult that my sister told me she always wanted to be more like me!  Go figure!

So following on from the thoughtful little girl here, I sketched up a picture that only a sister would appreciate!

Sisters Know 025

Those of you who have seen my sister will know that she is the blonde and I am the (ginger faking it as a) brunette!

It's really tricky photographing something with glass in front of it, so here are some pics without the frame (the inner frame is 11.5" x 8").

Sisters Know 033

PicMonkey Collage
No, I'm not showing you a close up of that photo of us bottom right!
I'm still in awe of my sister.  She inspires me, encourages me and always makes me laugh! We are as opposite as chalk and cheese, and yet fit so well together, like peas and carrots!

Want to know what I wish I had of hers and she of mine?  Now, that would be telling! *wink*


Monday, 25 February 2013

My Very Special Quilt!

It is finished!

2012 Brit Bee Quilt

This is my 2012 Brit Bee quilt, made by 12 women, who joined an online bee early 2012 as complete strangers.  We are all now firm friends, who can laugh, cry, moan, and eat heartily together!

2012 Brit Bee Quilt

I set a Log Cabin theme for the blocks, and asked folks to personalise the centre of their blocks, with a favourite fabric, some embroidery etc. Like any self-respecting parent, I don't have favourites, I love how each and every block reveals something of their maker, but it has made photographing it fairly quite a challenge! Apologies in advance if I haven't managed to get everyone's block photographed.

2012 Brit Bee Quilt

Yesterday, I talked about the circular quilting I decided on.  I'm delighted with how it turned out!

2012 Brit Bee Quilt
The back - Giant Log Cabin

A Brit Bee!  How cute is that!
2012 Brit Bee Quilt

To say that this quilt will be very, very special to me for a long time, is probably an understatement!  Can you tell how much I love it!!

2012 Brit Bee Quilt

Thank you ladies for being so inspiring, encouraging, cheeky funny & of course, talented!

2012 Brit Bee Quilt

I can't wait to get my 2013 Brit Bee quilts finished!

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Round and Round in Circles!

I've had a lovely weekend!

Yesterday, I had breakfast out with a friend, then lunch and fabric shopping with another friend!

In the evening I snuggled up with a glass of port and Mr Darcy!

Today has been gloriously sunny!  Oh how I love to sew with the sun streaming in through my window!

I've been quilting my 2012 Brit Bee quilt. 

After much deliberation, and being powered up with a granny nap, followed by one of these ....

5 Fruits Smoothie
5 fruit smoothie with coconut yoghurt
...I decided to adopt a posture of patience and quilt concentric circles, starting slap bang in the middle!

Quilting is usually my least favourite part of quilt making, mainly because the throat size on my beloved Pfaff is only 6.5" from the edge of the presser foot. 

Brit Bee quilt 003

But, for a pleasant change, I actually enjoyed quilting this one!  I think it was a combination of the sunshine, some lush variegated thread, and thinking of each member of Brit Bee and memories they hold for me as I quilted over each of their blocks.

Brit Bee quilt
It took 3 full bobbins to quilt this baby!
Tonight I plan to sew on the binding and will hopefully have some finished pics for you tomorrow!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!


Friday, 22 February 2013

Super-Size Log Cabin!

Over a year ago, my amazingly talented and generous Brit Bee ladies sent me their take on log cabin blocks, which I requested when I was queen bee in January '12.
I love all of their blocks, and enjoyed making them into a quilt top. 
Brit Quilt Jan12
Then I stalled!
A few months back I started piecing the back for this special quilt, and decided to go with a giant log cabin (my inspiration was this stunner!).  I bought a jelly roll in 'Oh Deer' and adding in some missing colours from my stash, followed the rainbow order of ROYGBIV!

Brit Bee Log Cabin Quilt (Back)

While I like the Oh Deer collection, I'm not a fan of it in jelly roll form, because some of the cute patterns get lost in the strips. 

I used up some Vintage Modern mini charm squares in the centre, and put in more of my denim-esk cotton between the rows.

Brit Bee Log Cabin Quilt (Back)

I have to admit the piecing of this giant log cabin was tedious, which is why I only did a few rows every so often!

But it is now complete, and I'm looking forward to getting it basted and quilted and finished!

Brit Bee Log Cabin Quilt (Back)

Even if it is a year late!

And I'll leave you with a funny quote my daughter found on Pinterest:

Hope you've had a great week!


Thursday, 21 February 2013

Heather Ross Winner!

Thank you everyone for taking part in my Valentine's Day Heather Ross giveaway, courtesy of Alice at the Fabric yard.

But there can only be one winner!  Drum roll please!

Congratulations Di!  Your fq bundle of Heather Ross lovelies will soon be winging their way to you from sunny Northern Ireland!


Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Liberty Slouch!

Details of my Valentine's day Heather Ross giveaway are here.

I've long been in need of a new Slouch bag, after my trusty vintage one literally got worn out!

These bags are super comfortable to 'wear', and are especially kind to dicky backs!

I always have one when I'm travelling so my hands are 'free' for lumping all the other stuff!  So with an upcoming trip looming, I thought I'd better get organised and rustle one up!

slouch bag 003

The fabrics used to make this bag are all offcuts I was either given or bought at silly prices!

I just love the purple tweed, and I'm sure my granny used to have a coat made from the aqua wotsit!

slouch bag 010

And inside - some Laura Ashley linen!

slouch bag 006

But the Pièce de résistance for me are the Liberty buttons!  My sister brought these back from Liberty London last year, and I've been hanging on to them for 'that special project'!

slouch bag 002

I can't wait to start using my new Slouch!

If you fancy making one of these yourself, you can find the pattern here.


Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Teddies & Giants!

Details of my Valentine's Day Heather Ross giveaway are here.

Yesterday, I managed a little sewing, despite the kids being off this week for half term.

Broken Wheel Block Feb13

This block is called BrokenWheel and it is the next installment in my block party class on Thursday nights.

I've also been working on a little EPP (English Paper Piecing):

EPP Feb13

A few leftover charm squares and 1" and 1.25" Sizzix dies meant I could whip up these hexies in an hour or two in front of the telly!  Hexies always remind me of our most famous landmark here in N.I. - The Giant's Causeway!

And the cute teddy row markers my daughter made me for Christmas are coming in handy too!  Not quite sure what these hexies will eventually morph into, but it will be a sample for my upcoming EPP class.

Well, we still have wonderful blue skies here in N.I. for about the 6th day running!  I hope you are enjoying the first signs of spring, wherever you are!


Sunday, 17 February 2013


Details of my Valentine's Day Heather Ross giveaway are here.

Bee Blessed met on Saturday, and just look at our cutest new member!

Trying to match some AMH with her cosy coat!
And we were spoiled rotten with some AMAZING home baking - buttermilk scones with jam, cream and fresh strawberries AND lemon and blueberry cake with cream cheese frosting!!!!!!  I so wish I'd taken a photo for you to drool over!  They were divine!  Thank you ladies!

We did actually do some sewing too! 

My uber talented friend, Sarah, and I are working on a man quilt.  This young man broke his back skiing just before Christmas, and is fighting his way back from paralysis in his legs.  He is the son of one of our Bee Blessed members and a determined young man.  So Sarah had the brilliant idea to make him a quilt with inspirational words on it!  If you click here, you will see some quality pieced words that Sarah has already made.

And here is my lowly contribution:

Bee Blessed Man Quilt Feb13
Ahhhh! Check out that blue sky!
We chose the words carefully and meaningfully as they are significant to this young man's journey of recovery.

And here is another group of ladies & their makes who I hope I have inspired, and who in turn have most definitely inspired me!

Applique Class Feb13

Applique Class Feb13

These are the amazing cushions my 2nd applique class made.  Aren't they fab!!  I love how different they all are!  Well done ladies for tackling some tricky satin stitch and sketchy manoeuvres!

And see that beautiful teacups cushion up there?  Well, if you hop on over here, you can see more pics of this and other beautiful makes by this talented young lady!!

If you fancy having a go at these cushions yourself, the pattern is available in my Etsy shop.

Hope you are having a great weekend!


Friday, 15 February 2013

Live Your Dreams!

Details of my Valentine's Day Heather Ross Giveaway are here!

Live Your Dreams Journal Cover Feb13

This is a journal cover for one of my daughter's friends.

The inspiration for this picture came from here.  As you can see, I tweeked the design a little. 

Live Your Dreams Journal Cover Feb13

My journal covers are only 9" tall, so there was some tiny stitching involved in this picture.  I messed up the hairline around the face a bit, but it still got the teenager nod of approval despite that blip!

Live Your Dreams Journal Cover Feb13
Check out the vintage button, with a not-so vintage pen!
So, that's another satisfied customer!

Happy Friday everyone!


Thursday, 14 February 2013

Valentine's Day Giveaway!

I'm delighted to be able to 'share the fabric love' with you by hosting a Valentine's Day giveaway, courtesy of  the lovely Alice from Fabric Yard!

Check out this bundle of yumminess!

 photo DSC_0766_zpsdabc3c69.jpg

10 Fat Quarters of Nursery Versery by Heather Ross!  Swoon!
 photo DSC_0774_zps08c40c43.jpg

How adorable are those cute wee mice!

 photo DSC_0780_zps33f1590b.jpg

So wipe away that drool and pay attention to the next bit - how to get your mitts on these lovelies!

Follow Fabric Yard via Twitter or Facebook (T & FB links are on the shop website), or register on the website. Then come back here and leave me a comment telling me you've done that.

 photo DSC_0770_zps229290ea.jpg

And because Alice is such a nice lady, she is offering a 10% discount off anything from the Kokka range to all those who read my blog, up until the end of this giveaway.  Just enter the code  justjudevalentine  when you are making your purchase.  And don't forget, P&P is only £1 in the UK.

The giveaway is open to UK & Ireland readers only (apologies lovely overseas peeps!), and I will announce the lucky winner on Thursday 21st February.

*Remember: if you are a 'No reply comment blogger' I have no way of getting in contact with you should you win.  So, leave your email address in your comment.*

Best of luck everyone!

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Low Volume Love!

Today is all about spreading the love!

I know valentines day is tomorrow, but I have a few lovely things to share with you today.

First up, my soothing low volume charm squares from the Low Volume Charm swap hosted by the lolly-liscious Laura Jane!

LV charms Feb13

I have plans for these quiet squares:

I'm thinking LV charm squares for the background, and vintage brights for the heart! Yum!

Next up, I'm sharing the love of some very happy & proud faces from my latest 'Machine Sewing for Beginners' course.

Beginners Class Feb13

Not only did they conquer the sewing machine, tension problems, different feet, rotary cutters & seams, but they put zippers into their first cushions, and also made quilted tote bags! 

Well done ladies!  You were amazing!

And on the theme of classes, I have just released my new programme for next term (April - July) which you can see here.  Just drop me an email if you would like to sign up for a class or workshop.

And last but not least, I'll be spreading more love tomorrow with a very special Valentine's day giveaway!  Oooh, it's a guddun'!


Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Who Lives in a House Like This?

I had an idea for a children's workshop I hope to run next term, and after some market research (bribing asking the children who visit and live in my house!!) decided to go with these stuffed fabric houses.

Scented Fabric Houses Feb13

I first saw this idea here, but these original houses were only 4" tall!!  Teeny! 

So I upscaled the pattern, changed a few bits, played around with designs etc. and came up with these ones.

Scented Fabric Houses Feb13

The square houses are approx. 7" tall and the taller house is approx. 14" including the hanging loop (can't you just imagine a cute wee gnome living in the tall house!!).  I used a pair of old linen trousers for the background fabric, and scraps for the rest, so a low budget make!

I also added some essential oil to the toy stuffing so they will give any room a lovely aroma!  These could easily be made into pretty doorstops too, which I will no doubt have a go at before the workshop, because making these is addictive!

Scented Fabric Houses Feb13

What I've learned from teaching children is that they are far less inhibited creatively than adults, so I think the combination of raw edge applique, bondaweb, scraps & trims will make for a really fun day!

I can see a few of these making their way onto present lists too!


As it is pancake day here in the UK, we will be having pancakes for tea (mmmm, banana, honey & crunchy peanut butter on mine!).  It is also my middle daughter's 14th birthday today, so pancakes will be followed by birthday cake and present opening! 

Hope you have a great Shrove Tuesday!  Jxo

Monday, 11 February 2013

A Gaggle of ......

.... bee blocks!

For February in Hipbees, Di has given us permission to cut up her precious Ruby into flying geese!

Hipbees Feb13 Block

This is a 16.5" block, and it's going to be one super quilt going by the other blocks popping up in the flickr group.

In the Modern Irish Bee, Karen sent us her DS Chicopee to chop into these lovely Hot Cross 9 Patch blocks:

Modern Irish Bee Feb13 Block

So these bee blocks, plus yesterday's makes, sum up my Sunday sewing! 

And look what was waiting for me after work on Saturday! 

Spring Daffodils
He's for keeps, my hubby!
And today I've been working on something new - here's a sneaky peek!

Sneak Peek!

Happy Monday everyone!