Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Bee Blessed BOM - January

Well it's that time again when we need to think ahead to our block-making-endeavours for Bee Blessed.  We are very much looking forward to another year of making quilts and blessing individuals and groups in need.

If you would like to 'make-a-long' with us, you are more than welcome!  Either by contributing to our block of the month, donating fabrics or coming along to our monthly get togethers (see my Bee Blessed page for dates).

We are kicking off the New Year with this block for January:

Bee Blessed BOM Maple Leaf

I've loved seeing variations of this Maple Leaf block around blogland and pinterest, and I just know it will make a beautiful Bee Blessed quilt for someone needing comforted and loved.

Here is the tutorial for a 12.5" unfinished block.  We would love it if you could stick to solid white for the background, and a bright patterned fabric for the leaf and stem.

Cut out:

From white/background fabric: 1 x 4.5" square
                                              3 x 5" squares

From patterned/leaf fabric: 3 x 4.5" squares
                                       2 x 5" squares
                                       1.5" x 8" strip for stem

Assume 1/4" seams throughout. 

1. Make the half square triangles: Pair two 5" white squares with two 5" patterned squares, right sides together. Draw a line diagonally on the wrong sides of both white squares.

2. Sew 1/4" seams down both sides of the pencil lines.

3. Cut along the pencil lines to create 4 half square triangles (hsts).

4. Trim the hsts to 4.5".  One method of accurate trimming is to leave the squares folded.  Draw a diagonal line on your ruler square from 4.5" to 4.5".  Place this line along the stitch line of the hst and align the corner of the ruler with the corner of the hst.  Trim away the excess.

5. Press the seams open and trim off the 'dog ears'.  Put to one side.

6. Slice the remaining 5" white square in half diagonally.  To insert the stem, fold it in half widthways & finger press to find the centre.  Do this to both triangles and match up the centre points with the centre points on the strip, before sewing the 3 pieces together.

7. Trim the stem section to 4.5" square.  Make sure to keep the strip centred.

8. Now layout all 9 parts of the block as shown below:

9. Sew the sections together in 3 rows first.  Iron the seams of each row in opposite directions.

10. To join each row, butt & pin the intersecting seams before sewing the rows together.

11. Iron the new seams open and square off the block to 12.5" if needed.

And don't feel you have to stick to autumnal colours either!  Go bright and beautiful!

Thanking you all in advance of your continued support to Bee Blessed.

Jude xo

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Catching Up!

There has been much lazing about the Hollies' Household this week!  Probably something to do with eating too much and long lie-ins!  Bliss!

Christmas Eve Party Though we did venture out into civilisation one bright sunny day, for a walk along a frozen lake!

Winter walk/frozen lake

So I just thought I would recap on some of the things I've been working on during my recent hibernation!

My Brit Bee secret santa pinny looked liked this:

Brit Bee Secret Santa '14 pin cushion

and it went to this lovely lady!

I've managed to get a good bit done on my first tunic too, but as there is no such thing as a 'standard' size, I'm now trying to 'shape' it to suit my unique proportions!  Not really sure what I'm doing, but happy to play and experiment with it.

Tunic Patch pocket from vintage sheets
patch pockets made from vintage sheets
And in true 'start something new before the last project is finished' style, I've downloaded, taped together and cut out the pattern pieces for the Wikstein Tova dress.

Wikstein Tova pattern

I've been pinning versions of this pattern since it came out.  I love the shape of it and think (hope) it will suit my shape.

Looking forward to giving this one a go!

I also got some Bee Blessed blocks done today, but more on that tomorrow!

That's all for now folks!

Jude xo

Friday, 26 December 2014

Boxing Day Winner!

I hope you've all had a wonderful Christmas day, and haven't eaten too much!!!!

I'm delighted to announce the winner of my 4th year blogiversary giveaway as ......

Congratulations to Sara!  I have emailed you already.

I hope you enjoy an extra Christmas present this year!

Thank you everyone for taking part!  The overwhelming feedback on what folks would like to see more of on blogs are tutorials and scrap-busting projects!  So I will be planning to blog about more of these in the New Year!

Jude xo

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas!

Happy Christmas to those at home, those away, surrounded by family, or on your own.

Reindeer at Hillmount Garden Centre
Jude xo

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Santa Came Early!

I'm afraid I just can't wait to Christmas day to open any presents I get before the big day!

So when a Brit Bee parcel arrived yesterday, I had that paper ripped off quicker than you can say 'ho ho ho!!'

Brit Bee Secret Santa '14 received

Our secret santa brief this year was a pin cushion, small and quick! And my very own secret santa delivered a cutey!

I've already found it useful as I try to finish up my tunic.

I agreed to a last minute commission for a friend, and delivered this messenger bag this evening.

Messenger bag commission

I used my own pattern for this one, but downsized it slightly as requested.  The outer fabric is a velour type needlecord, and the intended recipient has a particular fondness for the fabric on the front of the flap, as well as campervans! Fingers crossed she likes it.

messenger bag commission And speaking of patterns, some of you may know about the new EU VAT changes taking effect from 1st January.  They will impact sellers of digital items, like me. So until there is more clarification on the changes and thresholds, I will be converting all my Etsy patterns back to email attachments, rather than instant downloadable PDFs, from 1st January.

Sadly, lots of other pattern sellers are closing their shops because of the new ruling.  I hope that the decision makers in charge of these policies will see the devastating impact their new rules are having on small scale sellers across Europe.

And on to more happier subjects ............... just 2 more sleeps!!!

Jude xo

Sunday, 21 December 2014

'Me' Sewing!

For details of my blogiversary giveaway, click here.

So now that work has finished and Christmas preparations are fairly well wrapped up (!!) I've managed a bit of 'me' sewing the past few days.

The other night, while I was wrapping presents, I sat down on my heels and ripped the backside right out of my cotton pj bottoms!  Talk about draughty!!

PJ bottoms in dotty fleece

So out came the dotty fleece I had bought ages ago (always intended for PJ bottoms) and within an hour I had some cosy new PJs bottoms!  That was the draught sorted!

Next, this wee make only took half an hour!

Microwave bowl cosy

I'm always burning my fingers on a hot bowl of microwave porridge each morning, so I found this tutorial and in no time at all I had a microwave bowl cosy!

It works a treat, so I'll be making a few more of these!

And finally, I unearthed a tunic pattern I've had knocking around for ages! Here's my progress so far.

My first tunic - progress

Apart from a few simple skirts, tops and pj bottoms, I'm very inexperienced when it comes to dressmaking.  But I'm enjoying taking my time on this, trying to make sense of the pattern (!!) and going off pattern more than once!

Despite this, it's a good fit so far and I've a few more ideas on how to dicky it up more! I'm loving the vintage sheet peter pan collar with the denim chambray/cotton!

Hope you have had a great weekend!

Jude xo

Saturday, 20 December 2014

4 Years!

** This Giveaway is now closed!**

4 years ago today I started blogging!!

I can't believe where the time has gone, and I have loved creating every post, making new friends, and being inspired by the hugely creative and generous community that is the Quilting blogland!

I've noticed a big change in the Quilting blogging community recently, especially since the arrival of Instagram!

Perhaps not so much chatter here as there used to be, but as my blog was originally created for my own pleasure and creative record, I will continue on with my sewing babblings!

And so, to say 'thank you' for popping by here, whether as a regular reader or as a 'once in a while-r', I'm giving away all these goodies!

Blogiversary 4 Giveaway

8 Kona fat quarters and ...

Blogiversary 4 Giveaway

an Ipad cover, Snowman pincushion kit & tape measure ribbon.  These kits make the cutest pinny's!

Snowball pin cushion

To enter the giveaway, leave me a comment telling me what you would like to see more of on quilting blogs!

Blogiversary 4 Giveaway

The giveaway is open to international readers, and I will choose the winner on Boxing Day (26/12).

Remember, if you are a 'no reply comment blogger' then please leave your email address in your comment, or you will not be entered for the giveaway.  If you don't get a reply from me to your comment, then that means you are a 'no reply comment blogger' and I have no way of making contact with you.

Best of luck my quilty friends!

Jude xo

Friday, 19 December 2014

Christmas Stocking Tutorial

Today you will find me over on the Fabric Yard blog, turning some of Alice's gorgeous Christmas fabrics into stockings.

Stockings for Fabric Yard

Check out the free tutorial for the large stocking with cuff!

Stockings for Fabric Yard

And while you're there, have a browse through the lovely new fabrics in stock!

Stockings for Fabric Yard

(and remember, tomorrow is giveaway day!)

Jude xo

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Hot Pot Mat!

I officially finished work today for the Christmas break! So I can settle my mind into 4 weeks of chilling with my family.

There's the small matter of Christmas in there of course!  But as of today, all presents are bought and the last make made!

Hot Pot Mat

This is a hot pot mat / trivet for big sis.  Those squares are 1" finished, scraps from some Marmalade leftovers.

Hot Pot Mat

I used both Insul Bright heat resistant wadding and 80/20 wadding, and I love the textured look it gives to the quilting.

And as a little gift to you all, I will be celebrating 4 years of blogging in 2 days time, so be sure to stop by and see what goodies you could win!

Jude xo

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

No Animals Were Harmed .....

.... in the making of this hot water bottle cover!

Hot water bottle cover

This is for my nephew ........ to match his bedroom!  What can I say, he's a guy with style!

And in keeping with the present theme, I got this mini Ipad cover made for youngest daughter's bestie....

Mini Ipad cover

... my final 2 in 1 pouch of the year (bringing the total to 6!)......

2 in 1 Pouch

...and a tablet case!

Hudl Cover

Still a few more makes to go, but now that the retail shopping is all done (bar the food) I'm feeling a lot calmer than in my last post!!

Hope your week is going to plan!

Jude xo

Tuesday, 16 December 2014


Yes, that is panic in my blog title!

The decorations went up at the weekend - check!

The present shopping is done - check!
The fabric lollies were handed out - check!

The stockings are made - check! (will show you these soon)

And my Brit Bee secret santa pinny is made - check (another future reveal!)

However, I still have some presents to make for mum, sister, daughter and nephew!

We also have the dentist this week (seriously bad timing) and then of course there is the food shopping (not too soon), present wrapping (paper cuts), school Christmas concert (icy cold church), work dinner (absolutely nothing to wear), carol service (ahhhh) & Christmas eve games night (Uno anyone!)!

Somewhere in there I would like to take a minute to remember what Christmas is really all about!

Hope you are 'enjoying' the festive preparations!

Jude xo

Friday, 12 December 2014


Last night saw the end of my classes!  I've been teaching and running my own business for 5 years, but it's time for a wee break and to explore some new things.

I was hoping for a regular night of supporting my ladies, selling fabric and then sneaking home quietly!

Boy, was I in for a shock!

A good friend had sneakily organised a surprise party for me half way through the evening, and invited many more friends and classmates to join in the fun!!!

Farewell party! Dec'14

There were gifts, cards, donuts & a fabulous cake!

Farewell party! Dec'14

I was completely over-whelmed and touched by the thoughtfulness and well wishes of all these lovely friends!  There really aren't the words!

Thank you, thank you my lovely friends for being so teachable, caring, funny and inspiring!  It has been a privilege and a pleasure to contribute in a small way to your unending talent and creativity!

I will miss you all.  Keep sewing & making wonderful things!

Today my dad and I cleared out the classroom, brought all the bolts, equipment and samples back home!  The end of an era!

And as if the past 24 hours wasn't emotional enough, look who got back home tonight!

Shannon home! Dec'14

So tomorrow the Christmas decorations will go up (& to quote my 2 younger daughters, 'fiiiiiiiinnnnaaaallllyyyyy!') and some serious family time and spoiling of children will begin!

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

Jude xo