Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Autism Speaks

Did you know that more children will be diagnosed with Autism this year than  childhood cancer, juvenile diabetes or pediatric AIDS combined and that 1 person in every 100 has an Autism Spectrum Disorder which affects 40,000 people and families in New Zealand!

So what is Autism?

An Autism Spectrum Disorder is a life-long developmental disability affecting social and communication skills. People with the disability can also have accompanying learning disabilities; but, whatever their general level of intelligence, everyone with the condition shares a difficulty in making sense of the world.

What causes it?

The exact cause or causes is/are still unknown but research shows that genetic factors are important. In many cases Autism Spectrum Disorder may also be associated with various conditions affecting the brain such as, maternal rubella, tuberous sclerosis and encephalitis.

Onset is almost always from birth or before age three, although people with the condition may go through life without being diagnosed - and without receiving help that could help them live more fulfilled lives


Who is affected by it?

"Classic" autism affects four times as many boys as girls; Asperger syndrome affects nine times as many boys as girls. It is found among all races, nationalities and social class.

Can people with Autism Spectrum Disorders be helped?

Yes! Although it is a life long disability there are ways of helping especially if a child is diagnosed early

Recognizing the disorder

Features of the disorder can vary widely from one person to another; there is no single feature that defines either Autism or Asperger syndrome.
For example, a child with an autism spectrum disorder may make eye contact, speak with perfect grammar or put an arm around another child who is crying. Occasional behaviour such as this doesn't exclude an autism spectrum disorder; it's the overall pattern that's relevant, not the intermittent flashes of "normality".
The degree to which people with an autism spectrum disorder are affected varies, but all those affected have impairments in social interaction, social communication and imagination. This is known as the "triad of impairments".

Pieces of Hope

Pieces of Hope was inspired by a child with autism, whose family are employees of Riley Blake Designs.  Autism Speaks and Riley Blake Designs thank you for your support, which provides hope for all those affected by autism.
To help increase autism awareness and fund more research to help find a cure, Riley Blake Designs will donate a significant portion to Autism Speaks from the sales of this exciting new fabric collection, Pieces of Hope.

And it does not stop there! We here at Sew Pretty are donating 60cents from each FQ sold to Autism NZ.

The range is available here in both Fat Quarters, Meters and Bundles.

Information has been obtained from Autism New Zealands Website

and from Riley Blake Designs website:

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


So I realise it is quite bizarre to own a fabric shop (or quilt store as it is traditionally known) and not really quilt! The passion and drive behind Sew Pretty really is creativity and I believe that had I been addicted to quilting when I started, it would have resulted in a different store so I am pleased to be a L plate quilter.

However now that I have all this gorgeous fabric just staring and me in our 2nd lounge, and so many fantastic customers who keep sharing amazing images of quilts or seeing them first hand, I have slowly started getting into it and yes - it is easier than you think and it is addictive!

Every quilt tells a story, from beginning to end, it has a journey of it's own. Here is the blossom quilts story:

The Idea:
Justin's work colleague is having a baby soon, and it's a girl- the perfect excuse to delve into some of the pretty fabrics that I hardly ever get to use!  

The Design
After making a simple strip quilt, I felt it was time to try something different, and yet still modern. I was doodling through Riley Blakes website and came across this design, so decided it was a go!

The Colours
I love pink but I also know that many don't so I opted for a more purply colours and matched it with some greens. So that this quilt can last quite a while, in fact I think I would still love it as an adult.

The Sewing
I spent 1 evening doing all the cutting (that was after I washed my fabrics). The next evening was piecing it all together, I drew my own interpretation of the quilt design with my fabrics on, this was a life saver in the end instead of having to continually check back!
 I then spent 2 nights sewing the front and back panels and the final night I quilted, made the binding and pieced it all together.  A bit too much to chew in one night so ended up staying up until 3am getting it all done!

 In the end I quite liked this white design, but I think I would opt for a single fabric backing until I have some more experience as lining it all up was a nightmare compared to the simple strip quilt!

Needless to say despite numerous cursing that making this quilt was a bit too much to chew especially at 3am in the morning, the following day I was already dreaming of what colours to put into my next quilt. Addictive - muchly!

These are three of the fabrics I used, the other pieces I do have in stock so just let me know if you would like them!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Storybook Lane

Designer Kelly Lee-Creel  has clearly remembered playing dolls in her childhood and has put it all on fabric! What a dream job!

Storybook lane captures everything a little girl could dream of, and comes with a fantastic panel featuring 2 houses, plenty of dolls and 3 quilt blocks to tell the story or make into a book.

I see Christmas presents coming up with this very soon!

And the bonus is it comes with free pattern to create the stuffed house! The pattern is available here on Kelly's website along with some valuable pointers in her blog post which you should definitely read before getting started

Kelly has also designed 4 other patterns in the range which we are working on getting for you, along with getting some more of this fabric as it is sure to be popular!

To make the stuffed house, you will need an additional Fat Quarter to the panel and some interfacing 

So enjoy making a little girls dream come true!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Ric Rac Revolution

Get your craft on, it is time to get creative with ric rac! Below are some juicy finds on what to create with this curvy deliciousness! Ric Rac has been around for a while with a peak in 1970's associated with the hit tv show Little House on the Prairie and now it is back in a HUGE way!

Liven up your BLAH sweater with some self cover buttons or become Ric Rac Queen if you dare!
Free Sweater Love Tutorial by Tater tots and Jello

Check out a super cute skirt & baby idea & pattern from Make it Love It

I am falling more and more in love with JUMBO!

Grab some of our gorgeous flannel and make a pretty and very simple blanket & bib set using this fabulous free tutorial from Sew Much Ado

And why not whip up a quick crayon roll for the older sibling?  SkiptomyLou

Oooh and check out this beauty made with Patty Young's fabric - wouldn't look fabulous in her new range too? Available here . A great way to hide those seams! And have fun co-ordinating some fabrics for your perfect combo! 

Free tutorial from All People Quilt

Add a new touch to your quilts like Leanne did from Everyday Celebrations. She also blogs over at Moda Bake Shop - another favourite blog!

Finally my favourite (I had to save the best for last!) I would ♥ a Christmas tree filled with these!

This is a free tutorial by Retro Mama, check out the fantastic detail on the doors and windows! If you are anything like me, I simply cannot throw away a tiny scrap of fabric that has a wee bird left on it and now I know why!

Just think if you start making these now they would make the perfect presents for teachers, friends or just to decorate your own tree with!

I hope that this collection of ric rac tutorials has revolutionised the way you embellish!

Stay calm and keep crafting! And if you enjoyed this collection let us know by leaving a comment! We ♥ to hear from you!


Please note the images in this post belong to the websites/blogs owners and not Sew Pretty so please do not copy them without their consent and linking back to their pages.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Winter Blues Giveaway

So clearly it is not only me feeling the winter holiday blues!  Isn't it great to know that we all go through the same thing sometimes!

Well to cheer you up I have gone searching for a gift pack to make your day feel slightly more cheery!

We have some Amy Butler and Riley Blake fabric 1/4 meters of each, some Madame Tricote thread, red press snaps, a handmade sticker, 1 meter of red grosgrain ribbon and a great inspiring book Small Stash Sewing to give to one lucky person!

Simply leave a comment on this blog post and maybe together we can make the sun come out!

Keep crafting!

Winner will be drawn with Random.org. on Friday at midday. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Sew & Tell

The Hope Tree

 Wow another week of creating! Everyone has been up to so many fabulous projects, I thought I would share a few. Over on the left is a new venture called The Hope Tree, fabulous stuff, go over to their facebook page to show you support.
Sara if you can contact me I can issue you with you 500 rewards points for being chosen this week.

Sara used this fabulous Holy Cow fabric and has lined it with red, what a great combo!

Little Peanuts have used our Natural Calico for their latest project

Little Peanuts

Check out these gorgeous quilts using Sweet Shoppe and Lolli Play Dot

Lillydee Design

Buttercup Creative

Some more quilting going on with binding in Black & Grey Retro  Spots and Mini Candy Rose and Blue Apple Stripe for Tartankiw's quilt design


And last check out this scrumptios Monster nappy by MWAH Cloth Nappies
MWAH Cloth Nappies

Don't forget to add your handmade images, you get one entry for each image so the more you add the more chances you have. Feel free to add the same image to mutiple fabrics if you have used them, these all count as entries. Winner is drawn at random and given 500 reward points!

Happy Creating!

Monday, June 4, 2012


This weekend I was privileged to go away with around 40 Bellyful area co-ordinators for a weekend conference in Queenstown. The event was largely sponsored by Jet Star and The Glebe Apartments

What is Bellyful I hear you ask? Well if you are a mum then you will want to hear about it! Bellyful is a non profit organisation that provides meals for new mums or families struggling with illness who don't have a support structure around them.

Many of you will remember those times when you have a newborn and how getting dinner on the table was one of the hardest points in the day! I remember getting meals from friends after Luke was born, it was such a relief to not have to think about cooking on those nights!

Bellyful is run by volunteers at individual branch locations around New Zealand. Each branch is responsible for fundraising in order to purchase the meal ingredients and initial set up items (such a a chest freezer and phonelines) and then a cookathon is held at a local kitchen facility and meals are prepared and frozen. As soon as a call comes in (these are often referred by midwives, Plunket, doctors) a volunteer picks up the frozen meals and delivers it to the recipient.

This weekend we got to understand the processes and vision of Bellyful, hear stories from branches already up and running, get some fantastic advice about public speaking from Pippa Wetzel - Bellyful's Ambassador and witness the art of making a Bellyful Macaroni Cheese by Jacqui Jago from Wellington branch.

Thank you so much to all who were involved in making this possible! If you are interested in becoming involved in any way, cooking, delivery, fundraising or donations, Christchurch needs your help! We need to raise an initial $2000 in order to get Christchurch Bellyful off the ground! There are so many ways to help we need venues for cooking, cake stalls and other fundraising options. We have a Trade Me account where we can sell new things to raise funds for the Christchurch branch. So if you are able to help or would like to make a donation please contact me at kirsty.hosking@bellyful.org.nz or via Sew Pretty.

We also have these fabulous Tea Towels for sale at just $15 each please contact me if you would like one. $5 from each sale goes towards CHCH Bellyful.