18 July 2017

A Hexie a Day Update

As promised last time here's an update of where Mum and I are with our 'a hexie a day' project....did you see what I did there.........this has now become a joint project, which is rather good fun!  Despite my very good intentions, with so many projects on the go, this poor little work in progress kept getting placed to the bottom of the list.  So when mum mentioned that she would like to sew some hexies, I very quickly put together a bundle of fabrics and EPP papers for her to get stitching, which she has been doing so now for the last few weeks!

As you can see whilst we've not managed a complete hexie flower a day, we do have a very lovely stack of flowers..nearly 80 and there is something very satisfying when you lay out the flowers on mass like this.....

I'm so pleased with the pretty colour scheme and fabrics, which are all Lecien fabrics from a variety of collections..... Durham Quilt Collection, Rococo and Sweet, Quilters Basics, High Tea, Mrs March etc.

You may remember, my initial plan, had been to sew the hexie flowers together with no path, but as the project has progressed, mum and I have decided to add a round of Bella Solid Porcelain. I think this will allow the fabrics in each of the flowers to sing.  The plan then, is to possibly add a second path using a contrasting colour to join the flowers together..maybe diamonds (6 point diamonds work with hexagons) combined with equilateral triangles rather than more hexies...but that's a long way off, so hold that thought!
The next round, which will involve in the region of 960 further hexies and a fair few glue sticks, which means this will be an ongoing project for quite some time.........

However...I think without a doubt, the end result is going to be worth all those many happy hours of stitching.

If you fancy a go at Engish Paper Piecing, you can find my little happy tutorial for how to make the hexie flowers HERE.  Honestly give it a go, it's the perfect project to take with you when you're out and about and for evening stitches whilst watching tv! And here's a list of all the Scrummy Supplies that we've been using for this project.

Lecien Fabrics can be found HERE
Paper Pieces can be found HERE
Glue Pens and Refills can be found HERE
Aurifil Thread can be found HERE

See you again soon and Happy Stitches!

11 July 2017

Catch up Time!

As always, at this time of year the weeks are flying by with the usual end of term activities..... sports days, summer fairs plus the general day to day antics of being a self employed, quilt shop and website owning Mum.  It's always a bit of a juggling act to keep all the plates spinning, but at this time of year it's even more of a struggle......thank goodness so far I've remembered to be in the right place at the right time......but oh my it is fun, and I wouldn't change it for the world!

In addition, last weekend we celebrated Mum and Dad's (Penny and Ian's) Golden Wedding Anniversary...what a milestone and my nephews 2nd Birthday.  So go and grab a cup of tea and a slice of cake, I've have got lots to share with you!

We're not a huge family, in fact, there is just my family of four, my brother's family of four and mum and dad!  We had lunch out and then returned to mum and dad's house for cake and present opening.  The sun was shining all day and we all had a fantastic time, so much so, I failed on the blog front and didn't take a single photo!  Sorry!

I did however manage some before photo's of the cakes Poppy and I made.....

For the Golden Wedding cake we used Peggy Porshen Lemon Limoncello Cake from her Boutique Baking book, but we substituted the buttercream for a swiss meringue butter cream, flavoured with lemoncurd.   We also added a drizzle of crushed raspberries from Mum and Dad's garden between the layers.  It was decorated with lavender, herbs and berries from the garden and to add a golden touch a sparkly 50 and a spritz of gold lustre.

Poppy was in charge of my nephews cake, a delicious chocolate cake (and cupcakes, which we forgot to photograph!)  She used our 'go to' cupcake recipe from The Hummingbird Bakery.  These were also topped with the swiss meringue butter cream that we flavoured with vanilla and as you can see she went for sprinkle, sprinkles and more sprinkles!

For a little present, I made another Heart Mini Quilt.... you can find the 'a little happy tutorial' for this HERE.

This time for the heart, I used a mix of Durham Quilt collection fabrics in the Natural colourway, with a pretty Lecien dot and a tiny pin dot from the Kate Greenaway collection.  The binding is the text print from Poetry.  The eagle eyed will notice the change of background dimension...I forgot to bring some Essex Linen home with me so I used a smaller piece of Putty, that I had to hand.  This measured 8 1/2" x 12 inches.  I also added the extra cotton label using some pretty tape I had in my stash.

If you would like to make one or simply love the fabrics, we've put together FQ bundle of the fabrics I used HERE.

In other Shop News...we've had some fabulous new arrivals......

Lori Holts Bee Backgrounds for Riley Blake..... these really are lovely low volumes, a must for any stash and obviously fabulous to use in any of Lori's own quilt patterns, including the BEE Happy Quilt....the sew along for which is due to start on the 28th August. (Lori's Bee Happy templates can be pre-ordered from us HERE...)   Find Bee Backgrounds HERE.

Nadra Ridgeway's much anticipated third collection Arbor Blossom for Riley Blake Designs arrived late last week.  It is extremely pretty and what a bonus....the fabrics all blend and work perfectly with Nadra's previous collections 'Bloom and Bliss' and 'Backyard Roses'.  Find all Nadra's pretty fabrics HERE.

Christmas has definitely arrived at Pretty Fabrics and Trims ( Don't be cross, I know it's only July!) and I'm busy adding all the new collections to the website, here's a little taster.....

Merrily by Gingiber for Moda Fabrics...just look at those fabby panels..... Find it HERE.

Sugar Plum Christmas by Bunny Hill Designs for Moda Fabrics... I love the Christmas colours and the sweet small scale prints...there are also some really good Christmassy blenders... find it HERE.

All our cherry picked selection of Christmas Fabrics can be found on the website HERE and as new collections arrive I'll add them to this section, so make sure you keep returning and taking a peek!

....and there's more.... (she says making a mental note not to leave it so long in between blog posts!)

We've also had several requests for restocks of both my Tilda Brick quilt packs, you can read all about my original version HERE and the second version (pictured below) HERE .....

and the A Little Happy Sew Along Merry Christmas Mini Quilt, which you can read all about HERE

As you can see,  both restocked packs are slightly different from the originals, but rest assured, both have the flavour of the previous and will make absolutely gorgeous new versions.  The NEW Tilda Brick Quilt Pack can be found HERE and the Merry Christmas Mini Quilt Pack can be found HERE.

Right I think that's all for today and I promise to be back soon...for those of you who follow me on Social Media will know, I've got a new Block of the Month quilt that I'll be sharing soon plus a pretty Tilda Dresden plate quilt that is nearing completion.  Mum has also been working behind the scenes on the Flirty 30's Dresdens and the 'a hexie a day' hexies...so LOTS to share.

In the meanwhile......Happy Stitches!

6 June 2017

Easy Peasy Charm Square Quilt (Part 2) ~ Half Square Triangle Quilt

Thank you for all your lovely comments on my Easy Peasy Charm Square Quilt Part 1.  Today I'll be sharing the second quilt I made using a Moda Charm Pack.  This time I chose a Regent Street Lawns Charm Pack... as the name indicates they are cotton lawn weight fabric, which means that not only are they are extremely soft to touch, they drape beautifully!  I combined the pretty lawns with a lovely background fabric by Art Gallery Fabrics, which also due to the high Pima cotton thread count, has a super soft feel too and complimented the lawn weight fabrics perfectly.

This time I decided to make a Half Square Triangle (HST) quilt, which I know if your beginner can sound a little daunting, but believe me, by using a Pre-cut Charm pack it comes together very easily.  Here's how....

As I've already mentioned, half of the initial cutting had already been done for me, by choosing to use a Moda Charm pack.  I used (40) out of the 42, 5" squares from the pack.  In addition, from 3/4's of a metre of the background fabric I then cut (40) 5" squares.  (The quickest way to do this is to cut (5) strips 5" x the full width of fabric and then subcut each of these into (8) x 5" squares.)

To make the HST units, I drew a diagonal line on the wrong side of all the background fabric 5"squares.

Then pairing a background square with a Charm Pack square and with Right Sides Together (RST) stitched 1/4" either side of the drawn line. 

I then cut using my rotary cutter along the drawn line, which yielded 2 HST units.

I repeated this process for the remaining 39 pairs to yield 80 HST units in total. 

I then did a mass pressing session, I first pressed the stitches to ‘set’ them, (this effectively beds the stitches into the fabrics, which helps reduce bulk, also helped by using my trusty Aurifil 50wt thread!)) then, I opened out the HST unit and pressed the seam facing towards the Charm Square fabrics, which were on the whole darker than the background fabric. 

Before moving on, if you're stitching along with me, now I would suggest, is the the time to go and grab yourself a cup of tea............ 

The next step was to trim the HST units so that they measured 4 1/2" square.  This involved shaving  literally the smallest amounts off, but this is the most important step to ensure that the end result was neat and accurate!

A Little Happy Top Tip...... I used my 6 1/2" ruler to trim my HST's.  For best results, line up the diagonal printed line on the quilting ruler with the diagonal seam line on the HST unit....I also have a rotating cutting mat which helps speed up this task considerably....mine is by OLFA.

Once trimmed I layed out my HST units balancing light and dark evenly across the quilt.....I find this step always takes the longest!  I chose an 10 by 8 layout with my HST units all facing in the same direction.   There are so many variations of this quilt that you can make, simply by changing how you lay the individual HST units.

To join together, I first chain stitched the individual HST units in to rows, pressing the seams on each row in alternate directions.....to the left on the top row, to the right on the second row, left on the third etc......... and then joined the rows together. I used a 1/4" seam allowance throughout.
After layering up my quilt top, with wadding and backing fabric, I hand quilted using my favourite Aurifil 12 wt thread in a lovely citrus green colour, which I'd been given as a sample.  I used Merchant and Mills straw needles with the Aurifil 12wt as they have a decent size eye on them.  They're also quite sturdy as I personally do not like my needle to bend when I'm hand quilting.  I also should mention that I prefer not use a quilting hoop.
For the backing fabric (you'll need 1.25 metres - 5 FQ units if purchasing) I chose a pretty Butterfly print from the Stella collection by Lotta Jansdotter and for the binding I chose for a pretty green floral from our yardage selection of Regent Street Lawns.  I cut four 2 1/2" strips full width of fabric.  If you're purchasing binding fabric, you will need to purchase 1/2 metre of fabric (2 FQ units) but you will have leftovers.  Alternatively, cut them at 2 1/4" and that way you'll get them out of a long quarter*.

* A little happy note......... as standard when 1 unit is added to your basket we will always send 1 Fat Quarter (FQ) .  We are however quite happy to send a Long Quarter (LQ) BUT you must add a note in the Special Instructions section at checkout to let us know that this is what you would like.

The finished quilt measures 32" x 40", so the perfect baby quilt!

Scrummy Supplies

If you would like to make a quilt just like mine, for your convenience we've put together  a quilt top pack, which includes a Regent Street Charm Pack, 3/4 metres of the Art Gallery Background Fabric, plus 1/2 metre of the Regent Street Claremount Dark Green fabric I used for the binding, you can find this on the website HERE.  In addition you will need: Backing Fabric, Wadding and Thread.

Alternatively they are available individually below

Moda Regent Street Charm Packs can be found HERE
Regent Street Lawns collection can be found HERE
Stella Faril backing fabric can be found HERE
Aurifil 12 wt cottons can be found HERE (the bronzy green that I used is on order and should be with us soon!.... yay it's now here and can be found HERE)
Aurifil 50wt cottons can be found HERE ( I used my favourite #2311)

If you would like to make the quilt, but fancy different fabrics, you can find our full range of Charm Packs HERE.

Finally, if you do make any of my FREE projects from the blog, mum and I really do love to see them so please do send us a picture or alternatively if you're sharing on social media, please do use the #alittlehappytutorial or #prettyfabricsandtrims so that we can take a peek!!

Happy Stitches!

25 May 2017

Easy Peasy Charm Square Quilt (Part 1)

One of the most frequent questions we are asked in the shop (after 'do we do alterations') is 'How big would a quilt be made with a Moda Charm Pack?'  So having been asked this very question a number of times in recent weeks, I thought it would be useful to make one up...there's nothing better than actually seeing the finished article, rather than being shown the measurements...don't you think!   

A Moda Charm Pack is made up of a selection of 42 squares from a collection, each one measuring 5".  

I chose a Poetry Charm Pack for my quilt and having decided to keep this really simple I left the squares as is and laid them out in 7 rows, with 6 squares per row.   This part probably took me longer than it actually did to sew them together!

I chain pieced the squares, using a 1/4" seam allowance and followed the same method as I used for the bag front in my Patchwork Tote Bag Tutorial, which you can find HERE........there are lots of photo's so if you're a beginner it's worth a look.  As usual I had Aurifil 50wt in my machine.

For your information, if you decided to stop at that, once bound this portion of the quilt would measure 27" x 31 1/2" aprox.  Obviously you could change the layout to suit your project.....  you may for example want to make a table topper.

As you can see, I decided to add a border to my quilt.  I chose a pretty pink tone on tone floral from the Poetry collection and from this I cut four 5" strips across the full width of fabric.  If you're purchasing the fabric for the border, you would need to add 3/4's metre (3 units) to your basket....sorry 1/2 metre is not quite enough, but you will have leftovers for another project.  Alternatively you could cut the border slightly smaller if you wanted to get it out of  1/2 metre.

I then added the side borders first, cutting away the excess fabric and then the top and bottom borders.

I then layered up the quilt with my wadding...I used 100% cotton wadding and for the backing I used a pretty pink polka dot again from the Poetry collection, 125cm (5 units) is sufficient.   I spray basted on this occasion, but you can read more about this part of the process HERE.   I decided to hand quilt mine using Aurifil 12 wt ..... and chose a simple crosshatch design across the charm squares and then straight lines spaced at 1/2" intervals around the border.  I marked all of the lines using my trusty Clover Hera marker...one of my favourite quilty tools!

I'll let you in to a little secret, the quilt went perfectly with my Made for Baby blog tour post make (you can read it HERE) ....however look very closely and you'll see that some very strategic photo's were taken as I hadn't actually sewn on the binding..tee hee!!

When I eventually got around to stitching the binding, I used a pretty floral stripe, again from the Poetry collection.  I cut four 2 1/2" strips full width of fabric.  If you're purchasing fabric, you will need to purchase 1/2 metre of fabric (2 units) but you will have leftovers.  Alternatively, cut them at 2 1/4" and that way you'll get them out of a long quarter*.

* A little happy note......... as standard when 1 unit is added to your basket we will always send 1 Fat Quarter (FQ) .  We are however quite happy to send a Long Quarter (LQ) BUT you must add a note in the Special Instructions section at checkout to let us know that this is what you would like.

I added the binding following my usual method, which you can find step step instructions for HERE.

I thought you may like to see the back of the quilt with all my hand stitches (ignore the crease down the centre fold...it's been folded patiently waiting for me to write this post!)........ 
 The finished quilt measured 36" x 40 1/2" aprox.

Obviously I couldn't stop at just one Charm Square quilt, so I decided to make another.......

.....but more about that another day!

Here's a list of the Scrummy Supplies I used:

Poetry Charm Squares are available HERE
Border Fabric is available HERE
Backing Fabric is available HERE
Binding Fabric is available HERE
Aurifil 12wt #2311 is available HERE
Aurifil 50wt #2311 is available HERE

If you would like to make the quilt, but fancy different fabrics, you can find our full range of Charm Packs HERE.

If you do make the quilt, please do send us a picture mum and I would love to see or alternatively if you're sharing on social media, please do use the #alittlehappytutorial.

See you again soon with pictures of my next Charm Pack Quilt....oh and in case you were wondering..... NO we do not do alterations...I can't think of anything worse!

Happy Stitches!

18 May 2017

Happy Flower Quilt-A-Long Update

Well doesn't time fly when you're having fun!  Mum (Penny) was on holiday last week, so I was definitely doing my whirling dervish act to ensure that all our parcels full of loveliness went out on time.  Plus we had SO many new deliveries which I need to catch up on.  However despite being extremely tired...I find it impossible to sit and do nothing on evening so I managed to play catch up with my Happy Flower Quilt blocks.  I decided for all of these to needle turn applique.....here's a close up for you.....

The fabrics in the main came from our huger and ever growing range of 1930's reproductions from the shop, which you can find HERE plus a few came from my own stash.  If you would like any specific details, please do feel free to ask in the comments below and I will happily steer you in the right direction.  The fabulous book is available HERE.

I couldn't resist placing all the blocks I've made so far together....
They are looking so pretty don't you think?

I know I keep saying this, but I will be back soon...I have so many projects to share with you!!

Happy Stitches!

5 May 2017

'Made for Baby ~ Cute Sewn Gift' Blog Tour

Thank you for joining me today on the 'Made for Baby ~ Cute Sewn Gifts' Blog Tour to celebrate the release of the ever so lovely Ayda Algin's fabulous new book, published by Tuva Publishing.  I have followed Ayda for quite some time now and have been in awe of her beautiful photographs and makes, you can see these on her Blog: Cafe No Hut.  I was super thrilled when she asked me to join the Blog Hop...honestly you should see the line up, I feel quite giddy!

Obviously as soon as Ayda announced that she was writing the book, I had it on preorder for the shop (I''ve just heard this morning that our copies are on there way to us as a type...what timing...contact me if you would like to reserve one!).  When my advance copy arrived ...thank you Ayda and Tuva Publishing ..... I can honestly say it exceeded everything that I hoped it would be.  Included are 22 gorgeous projects including bibs, blankets, soft toys, wall hangings and lots more.  It's worth knowing that there are several projectss that would be great for anyone and not just for those with a baby, for example.... placemat, fabric boxes, drawstring bag and Moms carry-all bag (a lovely tote bag).   
Having spent an age mulling and drooling over the photographs and projects...it was so hard to choose.... I finally decided to make a Chime Bear.  I chose a pretty floral from the Durham Quilt Collection by Lecien....and some woolfelts to co-ordinate ( I used Blushing Bride and Fresh Linen.)
 The instructions were great and easy to follow.

I chose to hand stitch the woolfelt appliques and for this, used co-ordinating Aurifil Lana Wool threads. I also used a lovely shade of Heathered Licorice Lana Wool for the embroidery details, rather than embroidery floss.
Ayda adds such sweet little details to all of her patterns and as well as the little ribbon tab, I love that there is a bow around the bears neck....don't all the best dressed bears wear bows?  I went for a contrasting Ice Blue velvet for mine.

Ayda launched the Blog Tour on Wednesday and is running a fabulous Giveaway, so make sure you pop over to her Blog to enter.  Jemima shared the first project yesterday, she made a really fun cushion and I am very excited to see what else is made throughout the tour!  Here's the schedule:

Jemima Flendt
the @tiedwitharibbo
Sarah Edgar
Lisa Cox
@aspoonfulsug is
Ange Hamilton
Lauren Wright
@mollyand me
Melissa LeRay
Minki Kim
Faith Essenburg
Kristin Esser
@kristin_ess is
Lauren Guthrie
NEW @guthriegh
Bridgette McNay
Torie Jayne
@toriejayn to
Constance Cabral
Stacy Olson
Caroline Husle
@sewcarol to
Nadra Ridgeway
Wynn Tan
was founded in May.31
Sedef Imer
until @downgrapevinel
Lauren Nash
Jennie Pickett
Amy Sinibaldi
I @amysinibal
Kim Kruzich
@retro_ me
Elea Lutz
Samantha Dorn

Thank you again for joining me today.
Happy Stitches!