Tuesday, 21 October 2014

A little happy..... Patchy Heart Quilt Along

Hooray, my low volume, patchy heart quilt is finished,  so as I mentioned in my last post if anyone would like to join me, lets have a little happy Quilt Along.   There's going to be lots of pictures and tips of how I made this it so even if this is your very first quilt I hope you may feel encouraged to give it a go!

So if you would like to join in, here's what we're going to make.......

It's a very simple design, made up of alternate blocks of 4 patches (4 small squares stitched together to form a larger square) and plain blocks, each one with the addition of a raw edged appliqued heart. The quilting is in straight lines following the edges of each block and to finish I've added one of my favourite stripey bindings.
So how is the Quilt Along going to work, I hear you asking.... well for the next four weeks, I'll break down the making of the quilt into four easy stages....

In week 1, we'll cut out all that we need for the quilt top and stitch the 4 patch blocks.

In week 2, we'll make the heart blocks and stitch the quilt top together.

In week 3, we'll layer and tackle the quilting.
Finally in week 4, we'll add the binding.


Obviously you can choose to make the quilt at what ever pace you like, there's no pressure to keep up at all.  My intention is that at whatever speed you go at, you ultimately enjoy the experience, with the added bonus that you'll end up with something pretty.

To give you an idea of size, the finished quilt measures 38" (97cm) by 44 1/2" (113cm), making it a little lap quilt or baby quilt.

So if you fancy joining me, these are the materials that you will need:

For the quilt top
  • 15 x 'mini size' pieces or a selection of patterned fabrics of an equivalent size (25cm x 35cm) from your stash
  • 1m of Kona Cotton or a complimentary fabric, you will have a little left over for future projects 
(If you would like to use the same fabrics as me, Mum (Penny) and I have put together a quilt top pack, which includes the exact same Low Volume mini pieces, plus 1m of Kona Snow, you can find it HERE)


For the binding
  • 4 x 2 1/2" strips by the full width of fabric (If you are purchasing fabric, you will need just over a quarter of a metre, so to ensure that you have enough, you will need to purchase 1/2 metre of fabric, leaving you with just under a quarter of a metre of fabric for future projects, I used THIS ONE)


For the backing
  • 1.25m of  fabric, at least 110cm wide. ( If you are purchasing fabric from the website, you will need to add 5 Fat Quarters to your basket, I used THIS ONE)


You will also need
  • 110 x 125cm piece wadding/batting  ( If you are purchasing wadding, THIS is my wadding of choice and you will need to add 3 units to your basket, giving you a piece measuring aprox  225cm wide by 150cm long.  Cut carefully, you will use half for this project leaving you enough to make a second similar size quilt)
  • 25 cm x 90cm wide Bondaweb

Here's some other fabric ideas for you for the quilt top and backing....

Why not pick some pretty Tilda fabrics from the new collection Happiness is Homemade and Tiny Treasures


Kona Snow again is the perfect co-ordinate with these and Leaf Garland Blue would make a super binding.

or for something brighter, Lecien Flower Sugar, would be gorgeous

again Kona Snow is just lovely with these and for the binding, the Sevenberry Stripe in Red would be stunning!

If you would like any help putting together any combinations from the website, just give me a shout and I'll happily send over some pictures of fabrics all together so that you can see how they work.

So here's the schedule for the weekly posts (I'll update these to include links as we go) :

29th October ~ Cutting and 4 Patch
5th November ~ Appliqued Hearts and Piecing the Quilt Front
12th November ~ Layering and Quilting
19th November ~ Binding

I hope that you'll join me and if at any time you need any help, just get in touch and I'll do all that I can to assist.  Oh and so that I can take a peek, if you share any pictures on Instagram or Facebook please do use the hashtag:

#alittlehappyqal

Back soon!


Thursday, 9 October 2014

Quilty Fun


Hello my name is Sarah and I am a quiltaholic.......... or so it would seem from the number of works in progress I currently have....... I blame the fact that I am surrounded by gorgeous fabric everyday.... I mean just look at this.......


For weeks and weeks I have been seeing snippets of Miss Kate on Instagram being sewn into the most beautiful quilts and pretty things.  So when our bolts (all 16 of them!) arrived last Friday, it was inevitable that I would just have to snaffle some of it and get stitching.  I have been promising Poppy a new snack mat for ages, so I grabbed my Quilt Fun book which I got back here, and chose the super cute Tulip Block.....

I used in the main Miss Kate, the green in the middle is Pam Kitty Picnic, those gorgeous aqua dots are Tilda and the binding is Sevenberry.  The off white is Kona Snow and it is my absolute favourite shade ever!!  Oh and look, (she says patting herself on the back) a completed project!
Ok..... so we won't talk about this then..........
or maybe we should.......those new Tilda's have been taunting...yes taunting me.... since they arrived a few weeks ago.  I was showing so much self control......I had talked very sternly to myself and had no intention of starting a new quilt until firstly my scrappy trip along was finished, secondly those teeny hexies that I started on holiday had been turned into something pretty and thirdly I had made a few more Farmers Wives Blocks....... but then this happened........
........ honestly they jumped into that basket all by themselves and before I knew it, were cut up  and stitched into a new brick quilt.  Ok so not a finish as such, but that's a quilt front all done...... whooppee......
So as I was stitching the bricks together, I thought to myself wouldn't it be fun to have a bit of a Quilt-a-long kind of thing.......nothing complicated and really aimed for newbie / want-to-be quilters..... so before I knew it, I had bought home yet more fabric...... this time a selection of pretty low volume prints.....
and after a happy few hours yesterday of cutting, stitching, bondawebbing and a little more stitching, this is what I came up with.......
a pretty small size lap / baby quilt.  As you can see it's not finished yet, there's a border to be added, some quilting and finally a binding around the edge.  My thoughts are, that I'll publish some detailed step by step stages, with lots and lots of photo's so that if you've always dreamed of a making a quilt, you may be encouraged to give it a go.

Right I'm off now to write out 100 times......

I must not start another quilty project until these ones are done and dusted
I must not start ano....... Do you think a new crochet project would be ok????

Thanks as always for stopping by!

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Saturday Shop News

This week has all been about pretty trims. Just when you thought you've found the prettiest ones available, you stumble on yet more that you just NEED to stock...sorry, look away now if you're a bit of a button, ribbon and lace addict.........
I've long been a huge fan on using linen and lace together, so it was with great excitement to discover the two together in one combination......  Linen and Lace Bias Binding,  we've currently got two lovely colours in stock.  We also added some more variations of your favourites, so you can now find a narrow version of our extremely popular Cotton/Hemp ribbon, Ivory Edged Hopsack ribbon in two widths, double edge lace in Pewter and Aubergine and some super wooden handmade buttons.  (if you click on the product names, you'll be taken straight to them on the website)

And whilst we're on the subject of the lace, we have another new Berties Bows design, in 8 very lovely colours, now in stock. Find it HERE.

Buttons are another passion of mine and I just love these pretty matt pastel buttons.  I was sat at my kitchen table whilst I was adding them to the website and couldn't resist tipping them out...don't they look pretty on my tablecloth.  

We also added some more polka dot ribbons...can you ever have to many polka dots?
On the fabric front, there are some gorgeous new Lecien Flower Sugar bundles now available.... these and all our perfectly co-ordinated fabric bundles can be found HERE.  Choose as always from our Fat Quarter Bundles or our unique Small or Mini size Bundles.
To finish, here's a few new additions to our Christmas Shop......

Thank you as always for your lovely comments and support.....have a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Kiss me under the mistletoe.......




On the day Mum and I opened Pretty Fabrics and Trims we published our very first tutorial, which was for a pretty pocket heart.  The heart was something that I made back in my Little Kitten Homemade days and after my bunting was one of the most popular products available.  The original tutorial can be found on the old shop blog and has proved to be one of the most popular tutorials I've written.  Fast forward two and half years and this morning as I photographed this new mistletoe ribbon, it came to mind wouldn't it it look lovely on a Christmassy themed pocket heart.



So after a quick cheese and marmite toasty for lunch (yummy!!) I dashed up to the sewing room and rustled one up.....they're super quick and easy....... I used, Essex Linen in Putty (the grey would look lovely too!), White Teeth Lace, Mistletoe Ribbon and 6mm Rusty Tin Bells.  I simply wrote KISS! free hand using one of these and then embroidered over the top using back stitch.


 all the instructions including step by step photo's can be found HERE and if you're not quite ready for Christmas crafting, here's one of the originals I made.......
You can find links to all my other tutorials HERE and if you do make something using them, please do send me a picture, I would love to see.  Alternatively, I've just thought of a little hashtag #alittlehappytutorial  that you can use to tag your photo's on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter...... get me I am finally getting with it!

Finally, don't forget, it's 30% Thursday and on offer today (until 9pm GMT) are a selection of scrummy Farbenmix ribbons..... find them HERE

Back soon.....

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Saturday Shop News

I'll start this weeks Saturday shop news, with happy Tilda news..... at long last our two missing fabrics, Lotta Green and Zoe Light Green from the beautiful Happiness is Homemade finally arrived..... and my goodness they were worth the wait.....they really do finish off the collection beautifully.  As a result we were able to now list a complete collection bundle, which you can find on the website HERE.....

Plus we got to curate some brand new Tilda bundles, where we mix and match from all our collections to create perfectly co-ordinated little piles of loveliness!  Available in our very popular 'small' and 'mini' sizes and 'fat quarters' there's the perfect size for whatever project you may have planned!  Find them HERE.
Our obsession for 1930's reproductions was also given a happy boost with a delivery of Darlene Zimmerman's brand new collection 'Penny and Friends'.  As always the colours are lovely and fresh and there's also a good dose of low volume prints included.  These are all available individually and we had great fun putting together some pretty bundles.  Find them all HERE.
As you know we're very drawn to pretty fabrics, but every now and then we see a collection just for boys that we fall in love with and 'Oh Boy' by Riley Blake was exactly that.  Planes are such a classic little boy print, but we love the fresh take on this theme with the zingy addition of orange and brightly coloured stripes.  There's also a 'Penny Picks' bundle available which adds in  some gorgeous green and a touch more blue...find it all HERE.  I can really picture a cute bunting made with this bundle or a little baby quilt!
Moving back to florals, we just adore these ditsy prints by Clothworks.  From the Blossom Bliss collection by Cary Phillips they have a hint of an Autumnal feel to them don't you agree?  Find them on the website HERE.
Finally not a new product as such, but just to let you know we just took delivery of more of our very special 'Made with love' wooden buttons.  These are always very popular so if you're planning some present making and are looking for something special, grab them while you can!

 That's it for this week, thank you as always for you lovely comments and for the support that you give us.  Penny (mum) and I really do appreciate each and every order that we receive, thank you!  Have a fabulous crafty weekend.

Friday, 19 September 2014

A summer of crafting and a Feature


Throughout the summer my sewing machine found a new home on the dining table in our conservatory.  It worked out brilliantly, Poppy was happy to sit at one end keeping herself busy with a crafty project and Jamie.... well like most 10 year old boys he would have been quite happy to sit playing on an electrical device all summer!  (Needless to say this didn't happen!)

My first completed project to share with you (wow that sounds good!) was my Tilda scrappy crossroads quilt which I started back HERE.  This was so much fun to make and I'm pretty certain that another scrappy crossroads will feature in my life, thanks Lori for such a great pattern!

I used a mix of Tilda fabrics in shades of blue, grey and brown, which came from a variety of Tilda collections.  This is what I love about Tilda, the fact that you can mix and match and it just works!  
I also pulled some Tilda fabrics for some EPP to take with me on holiday.  I originally planned on this being used for a new roman blind in my downstairs cloakroom, but as I stitch each little hexie (which are half inch in size made using these EPP papers) I'm thinking that it would be such a shame to have it hidden in the loo, so it may eventually become a new pillow or possibly cover the top of a pretty Lloyd Loom ottoman I have in my living room........ I've been asked on Facebook for a tutorial on how to use these papers, so I'll get one sorted very soon...pinky promise!


Gift making is an ongoing process throughout the year, it is a fact that my children have a better social life than me.  The other weekend, I rustled up this pretty tote bag for Poppy's friend Molly using the stunning Petite Fleur fabrics that arrived this summer.  It was constructed in the same way as I made my Country Girls Tote Bag (click here for the tutorial) The letters, which I drew freehand, were simply adhered using bondaweb, machine stitched in place and then I added some decorative running stitch around the edge.  You can find a tutorial for using bondaweb HERE  For the handle I used navy webbing and some lovely May Arts velvet ribbon.  I love the colours on this bag and I'm desperate to use these fabrics for a new tunic this winter!
My other holiday project was to continue working on my crochet granny square blanket.  The colour scheme is definitely inspired by my Cath Kidston crochet bag and as always I'm using Drops Muskat 100% cotton.  This is such a great pick and put down project and I'm so pleased that I learn't to crochet last summer.

Rather excitingly, I also had a feature in Issue 2 of Hoop-La magazine.  My brief was to use embroidery as part of a functional object.  As with all my tutorials I wanted to keep it simple so that anyone could give it a go, so I came up with a pretty felt phone pouch.  The stitches are french knots, blanket stitch (You can find tutorials for both of these HERE) and some easy straight stitches.  The felt is the gorgeous  WoolFelt® and I used colours from the Autumn Bundle.
I'm really happy with my summer of crafting and I'm now looking forward to starting some Autumnal projects...have you noticed there's a slight nip in the air in the evenings and the light is fading so early.  It seemed complete sense to me to therefore start on a brand new quilt.....
Andy asked where this one was going to go?......who knows, but you can never have too many quilts...right??