Sunday, 30 March 2014

Mother's Day Fun!

I've had a lovely weekend being spoilt by my wonderful girls!

Mother's Day Fun! Mar14

I've had dinner & carrot cake made for me & my favourite ice-cream, chocolates and earrings bought for me!

Mother's Day Fun! Mar14

There's nothing better than having giggles and girly fun with my 3 most precious people!

Mother's Day Fun! Mar14

Thank you my angels!  You mean the world to me!

Mum xo

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Bee Blessed BOM - April

The clocks go forward an hour here tonight in the UK!  That means an hour less sleep! Boo!

It also brings me closer to April, yikes!  And another block for Bee Blessed peeps to make!

Bee Blessed BOM Apr14

This is the Asterisk block, and you can find the video tutorial for it here on Craftsy (please ignore the 2nd block in the tutorial).

They are 12.5" unfinished, and if you fancy having a go at two blocks (they are super quick to make!) it would be great if you could make them positive and negative like you see in my pic!

All you need is a 12" square of background fabric (white or modern print) and 2 x 2" strips width of your 2nd fabric per block.

Thanking you all in advance of your April contributions!

Can't wait to show you all our Pippi's next month!!

Jude xo

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Conquering Cathedrals!

My first Cathedral Windows class finished this evening!

Cathedral Windows Cushion class Mar14

After some initial groaning challenges, and what felt like endless ironing, the ladies made it through this more technical class!  I even heard a few say they enjoyed it!! 

Well done ladies on stretching yourselves and adding a new technique to your skill set!

I have published the Cathedral Windows cushion pattern on Etsy, if you fancy having a go yourself. 

Cathedral Windows Cushion class sample

And I've also published the pattern for the Quilt As You Go Handbag!

QAYG Shopping Bag class sample

Hope you are having a great week!

Jude xo

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Spring Sunshine!

It was a cold but lovely sunny day here today!

I went out to my washing line to photograph a quilt top (can't show you yet, sorry!) and got a bit snap happy!

Spring Sunshine Mar14
Spring Sunshine Mar14
Spring Sunshine Mar14
Spring Sunshine Mar14
Spring Sunshine Mar14

Oh how I love the sunshine! (Except when it shows up my dirty windows!!)

The little bit of sewing I can show you is pencil 1 of 2 for my youngest! She put in another order (or 2), chose her fabrics, and obedient mummy got to work!

Bethany's pencil case

An old necklace pendant came in handy for the zipper pull!

I hope you've had a lovely weekend and got to enjoy some spring sunshine!

Jude xo

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Today at Bee Blessed

We are motoring our way through a wonderful collection of blocks, quilt tops and quilts!

Thank you for all the recent Heart and Pippi blocks.  Here are some of our groovy girls:

Bee Blessed Pippi blocks
We have received lots more than you see here, I just forgot to get another photo!

Another set of blocks that got to the quilt top stage are the Greek Cross blocks:

Bee Blessed quilt top - Greek cross

And we got the Quarter Log Cabins laid out, with a few leftovers to make into a cute baby quilt:

Bee Blessed Quarter Log Cabin blocks

Bee Blessed quarter log cabin blocks

Here are some that are all finished and ready to be donated.

Bee Blessed quilts ready for donation Mar14

There are a good few other quilts still being worked on too!  We are a busy bunch of bees!  Thank you for your continued contributions and support!

Jude xo

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Something New!

I'm not trained in dressmaking, but have always wanted to learn! 

I can do a few simple garments (e.g. skirts and pyjama bottoms) and have loads of patterns waiting to be tried out!

The Great British Sewing Bee (currently showing on BBC2) is inspiring me to have a go at something I haven't tried before.

So I downloaded a pattern for a simple top for my youngest daughter, made a muslin version to adjust the pattern & fit, and then went for it!

Simple Spring Top for Bethany

We have darts, a back zipper and facing on the inside of the collar.  I recycled the blue trim from a charity shop skirt!

Simple Spring Top for Bethany

Not a complicated make, but enough to give me the confidence to try another one, this time with short sleeves and perhaps a peter pan collar!

As a pattern writer, I take issue with the lack of detail and clear instructions in dressmaking patterns. This is what has put me off dressmaking in the past.  But I accept that the only way to get better at understanding the patterns is to build up my experience & techniques in dressmaking, so I just need to keep practising!

I know one happy customer who won't be complaining!

Bethany in her new top!
Jude xo

Friday, 14 March 2014

Going Potty!

Thank goodness it's Friday!

I decided to get ahead of the Mother's Day gift making (30th March here in the UK) and make something for mum!  (needing an excuse to deviate from work stuff didn't factor at all.....much!)

Potholders for Mothers Day Mar14

I had a mini charm pack of Happy Go Lucky (from FQR last year) and some leftover jelly roll strips, which went perfectly with my stash of coloured bias binding!

Potholders for Mothers Day Mar14

These 10" potholders have heat resistant wadding inside, and are backed with non-slip table protector stuff (sorry, don't know the proper name!).

Potholders for Mothers Day Mar14

I'm really pleased with how these turned out, and think they'll look great on mum's black marble worktops.

Potholders for Mothers Day Mar14

I have a non-work Saturday to look forward to tomorrow, with a night out with the girls! Bliss!

Have a great weekend!

Jude xo

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

End of an Era!

Today my dad and handsome nephew dismantled our 12 foot trampoline! 

trampoline no more!
Before and after!  Oh dear!
The kids have had a tonne of fun on this over the years, but have outgrown it now sadly! Looks like I've a bit of repair gardening ahead of me when the frosts stop!

This evening some of my ladies got their 'Quilt as you Go' shopping bags finished!

Quilt As You Go handbag class Mar14

This talented and patient lot were testing out a new pattern for me, which includes a recessed zipper! 

Thank you ladies for being gracious pattern testers! You were brilliant guinea pigs!

If you fancy having a go at making this fun bag, I will be running the class again starting Monday 28th April.

Jude xo

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Open Sesame!

It was so lovely sewing in my room today looking out at a crystal blue sky and the sun streaming through the window. 

I've been working on some doorstops for my upcoming class.

Owl House Doorstop class sample

Couldn't resist a bit of sketch applique!! You know me!

These birdhouse style doorstops will have the option of zipper or Velcro closures!

Owl House Doorstop class sample

Birdhouse Doorstop class sample

And then I couldn't resist doing a 'Quilt as you go' take on one of Elizabeth Hartman's retired patterns.

QAYG Doorstop class sample

This is one super easy doorstop - even the zippered base is a breeze!

QAYG Doorstop class sample
There are still a few spaces left!  So if you want a great gift idea, or just need something stylish to keep that stubborn door open, sign up today!

Jude xo

Doorstops (3 weeks): Thursday 3/4 - 17/4, 7pm-9.30pm

Monday, 10 March 2014

New (Liberty) Lengths!

Saturday's crochet workshop was a great success!

Crochet class Mar14

There was much laughing, sighing, and a few frustrated grunts at times! But at least there were no tears!  Sarah's 'knitter's hold' was the saving grace for some of our knitters! Well done ladies on mastering your granny squares and flowers!  It's lovely seeing some of them popping up on Facebook!

On Sunday, the only sewing I managed was to lengthen a pair of trousers!

Trousers lengthened with Liberty!

These are lovely quality trousers passed down to me from a friend, but they were too short! So I added some Liberty and ribbon to the bottom!  I think these will be lovely with some summery pumps and a wee cardy!  I have a few more pairs of trousers needing this treatment too!

Trousers lengthened with Liberty!

And before the weekend was out, I got the binding sewn down on my gift quilt from Trudi

My lovely quilt from Trudi!

It only took the last episode of Midwives and the rather more delicious distracting Musketeers to get it done!!

My lovely quilt from Trudi!

Isn't it lovely! Just look at that amazing long arm quilting!  And it goes perfectly in my lounge! 

My lovely quilt from Trudi!

Thank you Troods!

Jude xo

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Birdie Cushion!

It's my beautiful big sister's birthday this week, so I made her a birdie cushion to match her recently decorated lounge!

Birdie Cushion for Gill Mar14
Looks good in my lounge too!
The birds are paper pieced using this pattern

Birdie Cushion for Gill Mar14

Birdie Cushion for Gill Mar14

I gave her the cushion today and it went down a treat (as did the tea and rhubarb and apple scones!).

Big sis with her birthday Birdie cushion

Happy birthday lovely lady!

And for those of you local to me, you might be interested to know that the fabric I used to make the cushion is on sale in my classes, together with a growing selection of designer quilters cotton, Essex Linen and now Kona Solids too!

Fabric in class Collage

Jude xo

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Caring for Bees and Orphans!

When I visit my lovely Brit Bees, I always come away with more than I arrive!

Brit Bee Gifts! Mar14

I have unashamedly pinched some of these pics from Susan's blog. Hadley made us all these fab Brit Bee key fobs, and my ridiculous grin there on the right is because I'm holding a beautiful gift quilt from Trudi! Just the binding to stitch down and then I'll take some proper pics of it, promise!

Susan's HR donated quilt to Bee Blessed

You may have seen this Heather Ross quilt recently on Susan's blog.  She is gifting it to Bee Blessed - thank you my lovely!

Quilted blocks for Alison Mar14

Ceri passed me some of her 'early works' to use for Bee Blessed or other good cause.  As the blocks were all bigger than 12.5" I decided to quilt them, then trim them down to 12.5" and send them over to Alison for her Mexican Quilts Appeal (Soy Amado).  Alison will sew all donated quilted blocks together to make quilts for former street kids in Mexico. Take some time to read about her visit at Christmas and the inspiration behind this great cause.

On Saturday I'm teaching my first Crochet workshop.  I wanted to have a wee sample of crochet edging to add to my growing pile of samples, so I edged this summery vintage pillowcase.

Crochet edged vintage pillowcase I think edged pillowcases are so pretty! I could also see this edging being used along the bottom of a summery skirt!  Another idea to add to my 'bucket list'!

Have a lovely day!

Jude xo

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Great News!

I released my new programme of classes today!!

Retro Butterflies in Lily Ashbury (High Street)

Lots of weekly projects and Saturday workshops to choose from in this spring/summer term.

Foundation Pieced Schoolhouse Cushion Class Sample

Something new this summer is a Beginner's Saturday course for kids aged 9+.  I'm delighted to hear of a growing number of children wanting to learn how to use a sewing machine.  Sewing was one of my favourite subjects at high school - let's hope our educational curriculum writers see sense and re-introduce it back into schools!

So if you fancy a summer of creative sewing, check out the full programme here and then drop me an email to register your place.  Places are limited and some classes book up quickly, so don't take too long to decide!

I'll leave you with a picture of my tea!

Pancake Day! Mar14
Banana, crunchy peanut butter, honey & strawberries! YUM!
Yes it was pancake day today here, and in true family tradition, I MADE MY OWN!  How's about that for a non-domestic goddess!! 

Jude xo