Saturday, 30 June 2012

Bee Blessed Summer Block

It's that time again when Bee Blessed put out the call to all our wonderful supporters for block donations.

This time, you have July and August to have a go at this month's block - Antique Tile.

You can find the brilliant tutorial for this block here.

We would love for you to keep to a mainly blue and white theme for this block, using white on the outside where I have used white (fabric A in the tutorial).

If you want to introduce slightly different shades of blue e.g. teal or aqua, then that would be great, as long as the overal colour scheme of the block is blue and white.

This is a really quick block to make, with a clever and cunning way to construct it. 

We hope you have fun with it.

Bee Blessed will only be meeting once or twice over the summer, so we may not have much to report for a few weeks yet.  But please know that projects are progressing and all the donated blocks so far are being put to good use.

Thank you too for the wonderful fabric donations we have recently received from several bloggers.  The generosity of this blogging community never ceases to impress me. Your 'gifts' will be turned into quilts to bless others.

Friday, 29 June 2012

Nearly There!

For my Thursday and Friday classes, it is the end of term!  Here is a wee summary of what the Thursday crowd were up to:

This is a selection of journal covers and travel sewing pouches which the ladies made in just 2 weeks.  Aren't they fab!  I didn't get taking pictures of everyone's, but trust me when I say they were fabulous!

Well done to the ladies in all my classes, for producing such wonderful creations, getting to the end of term, and putting up with my chaos and mistakes!!  You have been a privilege and a joy to teach (well, most of the time!).

The patterns for the Journal Cover and Travel Sewing Pouch are now available in my Etsy shop.

I have just one more evening class next week and a Saturday workshop, and then I am officially clocking off for 9 days!

I am so much looking forward to my first real slice of time off since Christmas!

Well, this weekend I am nursing a sick girl back to health, watching Wimbledon, and trying to stay in my PJs for as long as possible!

Hope you have a relaxing one!

Teachers Presents!

Today is the last day of school for my kids!

With this being the busiest June I've ever known, only my youngest's Primary school teacher and assistants got hand made pressies this year!

'Joanie' for the P7 teacher

Pencil case (flled with chocs) & teabag wallet for classroom assistant no.1

Pencil case (filled with chocs) & teabag wallet for classroom assistant no.2

Close up of cheesecake zipper pull, made by Poppy's Pocket

Another cheesecake zipper pull! Yum!
In the madness of this week, I also had a friend's teenage son's birthday.  So he got .... you guessed it, a pencil case filled with goodies!

I found a brill website that sold cool badges, the perfect finish for this teen pencil case (my tomboy daughter loves this one!).

So by the end of today, all presents will be safely delivered, school uniforms washed and packed away, and although my classes don't finish until 7/7, I can start to wind down and maybe even sneak in one or two lie-ins!

Hope you have a wonderful end to the week!

Thursday, 28 June 2012

'Here Come The Girls!'

I am delighted to announce a new Blogging Bee called:


When Di and Sarah and I met up for coffee recently, Di suggested how she would love to be in a bee with UK based bloggers of small blogs (I keep going to say 'small bloggers' but that implies something completely different!!).

I'm not entirely sure what defines a small blog, but I kind of invited myself along, even though I'm already in several other bees (I know, I'm bee greedy!).

And so Hipbees was formed!  Sarah is the queen of naming things, and didn't disappoint this time either!  How cool is the name! It sooooo appeals to my inner hippy!

The other 11 cool, hip 'n happenin' chicks are:

Tanya - Second Chance Tan -
Rachel - Mamma Fairy Sews -
Karen - Lisnaweary Quilts -
Collette - Poppie and Poochie -
Renee - Nellie's Niceties -
Lynz - Domestic Light and Magic -
Catherine - Sew Wonderful Life -

and our uber cool Mama,

Di - Willowbeck Designs -

We will officially get under way in August, but we just thought we'd let you all know what we're about.

After I had posted yesterday about my birthday pressies, I got one more in the post!

Even the wrapping is adorable!  Imagine saying this with the M&S voice 'This isn't just wrapping; this is Mish Mash Mama wrapping!'

Amazing stitchery, copied from my new blog header!
Terri, you rock! Your creativity and talent are awe inspiring!  I love my special notebook, and I'm even going to keep the wrapping!  Thank you my friend!

And just before I go, the secret partners in the Brit Quilt Swap Round 3 were announced today!  I got a goodun'!

Have a happy, hippee Thursday!

Wednesday, 27 June 2012


I know it's a few days since my birthday, but I thought you might like to see some of the goodies I got!

Liberty Treats from Big Sis

Cath Kidson goodies from a friend

Thanks Mum!
Vintage FQs for my vintage sheets quilt project, from Sarah.

Thanks Had!

Thank you all for my wonderful gifts!

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

A Kaleidoscope Birthday!

There's another birthday girl in my house this week!

My youngest is 11 today!  I decided it was time she got her own sewing machine & accessories, as she is a natural sewer (& at least one of my offspring should carry on my craft, right?)

She was chuffed to bits this morning with the machine (which she has since named 'Hector') and all the notions and fabric she got.

I also had this parcelled up for her:

An embarrassingly long time ago I started a Kaleidoscope QAL with Don't Call Me Betsy!

Nothing went right with this project, from beginning to end!  I lost my mojo with it early on when, after cutting out all the fabric, I realised the template wasn't symmetrical.  But I persisted and got the top made.

I then had to make a pieced back (my nemesis!) which of course wasn't straightforward (I miscalculated!).

But I persisted and got the back made!

When it was finally basted, I sewed a couple of diagonal lines, lost my mojo again, and parked it for about 8 months!

I recently set up my machine to FMQ the Pippi quilt and thought I may as well get this beast fmq'd too, and have a wee FMQ-fest!

Despite a few tension problems, I persisted and got it FMQ'd (can you see the recurring theme?).

Joy oh joy, the worst bit was over!  Just the binding left to go.

Well in true 'nothing going right with this project' style, I had a piece of perfect green fabric left for the binding, and guessing (!!) that it would be enough, I made the binding, sewed it on, and ended up short by about 10"!  Aargghh!

(If any of my students are reading this, this is not how you go about making a quilt!)

But I persisted, fudged together some leftover bits and got the binding finished!  Phew!

This quilt was quite a journey in how not to do things well, but the response from my nature/green loving girl made it all worth it!

Happy Birthday my sweet!  And happy birthday too, to another fabulously talented lady!

Party on!

Monday, 25 June 2012

Another Year Older!

It was my birthday yesterday!

Thank you to everyone who has wished me happy birthday!  It was a lovely quiet, relaxing day - just what I needed after a busy weekend!

I will do a wee post soon on the goodies I received, but I've waited too long already to update you on our Exhibition Day on Saturday.

To say that the day went well would be an understatement!  I'm struggling to find adequate ways to describe how the event went over.  So I'll use some of the words that others used to describe the event:

Brilliant!                 Amazing!                     Smooth Running!                       Well attended!

Inspiring!                 Warm atmosphere!            Community!                   Peaceful!

Quality!                    Fabulous!                    Proud!

You can see better quality pics here, taken by a friend as an army of amazing volunteers helped to set up the Exhibition on Friday evening.

And Sarah has a brilliant pic of our Bee Blessed Stall here:

As I was doing a really good impression of a headless chicken all day, I foolishly didn't get many pictures taken, but here are a few I managed to get with relatively steady hands!

One of the main aims of this day was to give my students from the past 3 years the opportunity to showcase the wonderful things they've made in class.  The visitors who spoke with me said they were blown away by the standard and variety of items on display!  Well done ladies!  Seeing all your items on display was a hugely proud and emotional moment for me!

Another aim of the day was to raise funds for 2 charity groups that are close to my heart - Oasis Quilting Group and Bee Blessed.  In total, almost £1000 was raised for the 2 groups! 

Thank you everyone for coming out in the dodgy weather to support our Exhibition and Fund Raiser!  Your support has meant so much. 

And thank you too to the stirling group of ladies (& a few husbands!) who worked tirelessly over the weekend to make this event run so smoothly and be the great success that it was!

At my most tired moment on Friday evening I thought to myself 'I don't ever want to do this again!'  Of course I've completely changed my mind!

Friday, 22 June 2012

The Big Day!

Tomorrow is our Big Day!

The church is all set up with reams and reams of gorgeous bunting, wall to wall displays of quilts and lots more, and our very own 'Team Rooms' at the back with our craft, fabric and cake stalls.

I had an army of amazing men and women helping me make this all possible!  What a team effort!  I hope to have lots of pictures after the weekend to show you.

I managed to get a few wee items made to sell on the craft table, but not as much as I would have liked.

I particularly like the pinnies, made from the sample pack in the FQR goodies bag!

The other ladies have made lots of wonderful contributions too.  The table looks amazing!  Let's hope they all sell and we can raise lots of money for Bee Blessed and Oasis.

Have a great Saturday!

Thursday, 21 June 2012

In Stitches!

Today not only sees the launch of my new Autumn programme of classes (see more details here), but I am also rebranding!

'Rags to Bags' was suggested as a bit of a joke by a few friends, many years ago when I made my first handbag from an old vintage curtain.

Back then I never had any intention of selling or teaching, but the name sort of stuck!

I have evolved a lot since then (though I still love and use that handbag!), but I no longer feel Rags to Bags is a good enough reflection of what I offer in terms of classes, workshops and patterns.

So as I look back with fondness on my Rags to Bags journey, it is time to close the book on this chapter, and start a new one!

From now on, my classes and workshops will be called 'In Stitches'.  I have used this name before, for a pilot class I was running for Oasis 2 years ago.  The pilot didn't continue, but I always loved the name, and feel it reflects the fun and laughter we often have in class (we get some sewing done too of course!).

Just Jude will continue as my branding for selling patterns on Etsy, and the occasional item I make to sell.

So, if you are local to me and would like to come along and have some sewing fun this Autumn, check out the new programme.

Coming soon to the Autumn programme:  Monthly Saturday workshops on Curtain Making & Dressmaking - dates tbc.

New Kids on the Block!

No.1 Daughter finished her GCSE's yesterday!


She has coped amazingly well, not only over the 5 weeks of exams, but the previous 2 years worth of controlled assessments too!  I'm so proud of her!

To celebrate, she launched her Etsy Shop yesterday - Poppy's Pocket!

Most of you will know that Shannon makes the most beautiful fimo creations and charms (yes, I know I'm biased). 

On the back of successful sales through school and my classes she has taken the plunge and is going to try to sell her wares to the rest of the world too!

She would love it if you would pop over and have a wee look and let her know what you think!

And not only that, she's only gone and got the blogging bug too.

The Crafty Teen is her blog, where she posts lost of fimo tutorials (on Youtube also).  If you know anyone who would like to be inspired in this craft, let them know that there is a Crafty Teen in Belfast who loves to share her ideas & inspire others.

And one more 'New Kid' to mention.

My friend & fellow Bee Blessed buddy, Tina has just started up a wee blog called Secret Ingredient: Love.  Tina is not only a fab quilter, but makes the most mouthwatering brownies, cookies and more!  (I love it when she brings her choccy nut cookies to BB!).

She is still in the early stages of setting up her blog, but I'm sure she would love it if some of you said hello!

Yesterday was a significant day for another reason too.  In the evening, daughter no.3 had her graduation service from Primary School.  Only 6.5 school days leftof P7!  My baby is growing up!  Yikes!

Have a great Thursday!


Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Autumn Classes Preview 1

I will be publishing my Autumn programme of classes on Friday, so I thought I'd do a few preview posts on some of the projects we'll be making in class.

First up is something you have already seen this week in my new Blog Header:

Due to popular demand, I will be running an Applique skills class, where we will be learning 4 main types of applique.

1. Satin Stitch (machine applique - as shown in the Love cushion above)
2. Free Motion Sketching (machine applique - see below)

3. Needleturn (hand applique):

Inspired by this picture.
These cushions are approx. 18" x 14", which means those super mini quilts hanging on the washing line are less than 4" finished!

4. Reverse Needleturn (hand applique)

The class will be mainly techniques based with the option of making 1 cushion. 

The cushion borders have been mitred at the corners, which is another technique I've been waiting to teach.  I used recycled denim for my borders, and I think the mitred corners help to frame the applique pictures.

Applique is a lot of fun when you find a technique and style that works for you.  The creative possibilities are endless!