Sunday, 31 May 2015

Who ate our cookies?!

In case you're wondering what the writing in Italian on the bottom of your screen means:

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Accepting with the OK button once, the writing will no longer appear. The info button is for further information on the cookie policy used. This change to our blog has been necessary to comply with the Italian law for informing on the use of cookies.

For any questions or further information please contact us by email: ellaandnesta at gmail dot com

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Hama Beads: 6 tips for using Cross Stitch patterns with Fusion Beads

If you like cross stitching, then you’re really going to like Hama beads too. It’s interesting to see how you can use a lot of cross stitch patterns for making Hama bead works (and Hama bead patterns for cross stitching too, of course). A simple cross stitch moustache pattern can become a fun way for decorating a party straw:

 Hama Bead Party Straw

Here are 6 tips for choosing cross stitch patterns to use with Hama beads:

1. Look for simple, compact cross stitch patterns to use. Simple designs work really well with Hama beads. Geometric patterns, like these ones used for making coasters, are very effective:

Geometric design hama beads by mezasaurusrex

Pattern Hama perler beads here to find out more

Complicated patterns with single row stitches when used for Fusion beads tend to break if the work isn’t glued onto a firm support:

Hama Beads notebook

2. You can still use your cross stitch pattern even if it has backstitching to outline or draw details. The holes and the regular placing of the beads mean you can stitch through them, just like Aida cross stitch fabric. Here is an example of face details sewn with black thread through the beads. 

Cute little necklace from Daisy Mooo / hama perler beads

3. Before starting always check that you have all the colours of beads you need for the cross stitch pattern. Cross stitch patterns often use a lot of different coloured threads, colours that you might not find in beads. If you’re missing colours, see if you can find a good substitute or reduce the number of colours.

Oh deer! Beautiful perler project by losdosaikos. He wants a super Mario flower like on mental floss too.

4. Cross stitching patterns with strong contrasts in colours make more interesting Hama bead works. See all the Matrioska dolls made with Hama beads, they are so pretty!

Matryoshkas hama perler beads by mariesmynkning

And dream catchers look really good too:
 Make a lovely dream catcher with Hama bead feathers | Village Voices

5. When choosing a cross stitch pattern to use for a Hama bead work, always consider size. While you can quickly put aside a cross stitch work and then pick it up again, with beads you have to be very careful not to knock against the board and send all the pieces flying! This means starting your work all over again.
Smaller projects, especially for children, give instant gratification and can make pretty accessories:
8-Bit Feather Fantasy Earrings by The Soft Museum

6. Letting older children work with Hama beads (beads are not suitable for young children) is a great way for introducing them to reading cross stitch patterns. It also teaches precision and patience. Children will quickly want to make their own patterns too! This craft is also very relaxing for adults, by the way!

For more ideas on how to use Hama Beads, don’t miss our Pinterest board:

 Hama Bead Moustache Party Straw

If you like the idea of Hama bead party straws, like our black and white moustache straw, here’s our fun Party Straws tutorial:

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Saturday, 23 May 2015

Sewing notions in Home Decor and Accessories: 5 Designs not to miss from Italy and Europe

This is becoming a monthly appointment: here are our latest finds in home decor and accessories, where sewing meets and inspires design. This proves how "fashionable" anything sewing related is! I have to start with this ceramic vase: it's made by the Italian Designer Vito Nesta. Nesta is a surname in Italy so you can imagine I often have problems explaining that it's my name and not my surname... Anyway, Vito Nesta has come up with this precious gold vase that resembles a thimble, inspired by childhood memories of his Grandmother's love for sewing:

For his Sartoria Collection, he has also designed other fabulous products:

BobiniQUE, for example, are ceramic candle holders, in six different colours:

More Home Decor, a Rag Rug with a special twist: the Italian firm Sobel produces this series of mats, made with strips of fabric. A part from t-shirt fabric you can also find silky and shiny fabrics woven into the rug, that add lovely texture:

Pip Studio's lovely porcelain collection called Royal reminds me of beautiful quilts combining florals and patterns:
PiP Royal Tea potPiP Royal Dinner PlatePiP Royal Pasta Plate
As for accessories, have you seen how fold over elastic (FOE) has become a trendy way to tie your hair or, when not in use, a pretty bracelet to keep on your wrist! Popband has an incredible selection:
Unicorn Popbands | Pink, Purple, & Gold Unicorn Print Hair Bands
They are even spot on with the unicorn and hexie trends!

You can read about more of our finds in home decor and accessories here, here, herehere and here (it's becoming a fun series on our blog!).

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Tuesday, 19 May 2015

How to find the best blogging tips and join the growing sewing comunity!

Two years ago I was very lucky to have the chance of joining Beth's Let's Get Acquainted New Blogger Blog Hop (@ Plum and June). This year four bloggers have joined forces to bring the 2015 edition New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop. What are you waiting for? This is really a fantastic opportunity to get lots of up to date advice and make new quilting/sewing blogger friends. 

The "rules" for joining are simple. If you are interested in participating in the 2015 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop and have been blogging:

1. mainly about modern quilting*,
2. for less than 2 years,
3. writing at least 4 posts a month,
4. are willing to agree to be actively involved in the blog hop through visiting and commenting on the other blogger’s hop posts,
5. and have or are willing to open a Facebook account to participate in the group discussions

*Modern quilting to you is modern quilting to us, is the motto of the group!

Then visit:

 for more details on how to sign up! 

You can also read very interesting advice posts here:

In case you are wondering why there is a flower block at the top of this post, it's the block I made for the 2013 edition participants' "thank you" quilt for Beth @ Plum and June, who invented and organised the whole event. Above a photo of the finished quilt (pieced and quilted by Em @ Sewing by Moonlight) and if you visit this link:

have a look at the list of new bloggers in 2013, you are in for a big surprise!

Inline image 1

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Monday, 18 May 2015

Hama Bead Party Straws - DIY Kids Craft Tutorial for Homemade Spring

The Creative Factory is back with Homemade Spring. We've gone Hama bead (or Perler bead) crazy over here lately so we're showing a fun tutorial for making party straws with Hama bead flags. It's a fast and easy kids craft idea!

Here is what you need to make Hama bead party straws:
  • Hama beads
  • Hexagon Hama bead base
  • Straws
  • A glue gun

A note, here in Italy at the moment you can buy Hama beads at Ikea (the product is called Plyssa!) or you can find these handy packets at your local newsagent with different shaped bases to work on:

Make six flags at a time using the hexagon base, choosing your favourite designs. Iron the beads to fuse them, after placing baking paper in between your iron and the beads (don't forget or you'll melt the beads on your iron plate!). Wait till the beads cool down before taking them off the base. You can iron them a little on the other side too using the baking paper to reinforce the flag, if you like.

Using your glue gun, place a strip of glue along the line of beads you're going to stick to the straw. 

Wait until the glue is no longer too hot but is still sticky before gluing the little flag to the straw, leaving enough space from the top of the straw for drinking.

And there you are: Hama bead party straws! You can choose colours that go with your party theme and use one or more designs. These are so fun to make with children!
If you're looking for more ideas for using Hama beads then have a look at our Hama perler Pinterest board:

For more Spring ideas, don't miss The Creative Factory's lovely ideas on this link up:

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The Creative Factory

Monday, 11 May 2015

Saying Thank You

The time has come to say thank you to a lot of friends. Let me start with Stephanie @ Late Night Quilter. She was so very nice as to send me this lovely necklace with a fabric charm. It's beautiful and I love it. 

This was the prize for joining the linky party Tips and Tutorials Tuesday she hosts with Michelle on their blog. Every week very useful tips from the hosts! 

Stephanie and Michelle are so generous they have even posted a tutorial for making these "Fabric mood necklaces" here.

Necklace 1

I would also like to thank everybody for joining in our Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day. The winner is:

To join the giveaway you were asked to comment telling the name of one of your favourite sewing blogs/sites and can I say I was really impressed by all your comments. I really like it that everybody took the time to answer the question and I was very surprised by the number of different blogs/sites mentioned. Impressive. A lot of blog and sewing love!

Thank you for joining in!

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Linking up at Yvonne's:

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Welcome to our Giveaway Day! - Sew Mama Sew

Welcome to Ella and Nesta's Little Room! It's wonderful to be part of Giveaway Day again! We are joining as our little thank you for all the generosity we have been receiving lately from  friends in blogland (lots of thank you posts coming up soon!).

If it's the first time you're visiting our blog let us introduce ourselves: we are a Mother and Daughter team living in Italy who enjoy quilting, sewing and craft in general. We love sharing our ideas with the wonderful sewing community and have a tutorials page with lots of fun projects. We hope you enjoy having a look around. 
A big welcome back to all our friends! We love reading your comments, they really make us happy. We also enjoy reading your blogs and looking at the lovely projects you're all working on. 

This year we've been very pleased to see one of our tutorials published in the beautiful magazine Made in Felt:

We're also very excited to have had the opportunity of joining the group of Italian bloggers: The Creative Factory.

The Creative Factory

We're working on different projects: finishing bee blocks, a baby quilt, purses and enjoying all the sewing time we manage to fit in! 

1. Crossover purse; 2. Pearl Button Pincushion;

And now for the giveaway! We are giving away some craft supplies:
  • 4 fabrics (about 10x11")
  • 1 reel of ric rac trim
  • embroidered ric rac trim on wooden clothes peg
  • 1 3D crown charm

To have a chance of winning these pretty craft supplies all you have to do is:
  • leave a comment telling us the name of one of your favourite sewing blogs/sites;
  • for followers, new and old, another chance of winning: leave a second comment telling us how you follow our blog! You can follow us on Pinterest and Instagram too.

The giveaway is open to everyone and we will post the prize anywhere in the world, closing on May 10th. Mr Random will then choose a winner who will be contacted by mail.

Good luck!

Don't miss all the other fantastic giveaways at Sew Mama Sew!

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