Q&A with Helena Velmans of Little Lamb Designs

Posted by Melissa Davin-Smith on

Whats the name of your handmade business and how did you come up with the name?

My business is called Little Lamb Designs. The name was inspired by my Mum’s middle name (Mary - who had a little lamb) and my maiden name (Lamb). 
How did you get into making crafts?
My Mum was always encouraging me to try different crafts when I was younger. She was a keen crafter so it has always been a way of life!
How long have you been crafting?
For as long as I can remember! I briefly stopped in my late teens but picked cross stitch back up again when I was in my mid 20s. 
What kinds of things do you like to make?
I’ve been making cross stitches since I was little. My family used to get them as presents every Christmas. I like how they’re transportable so I usually have one with me on a long journey.   I really enjoy making things that are personalised as it makes it even more special to make.   In my personal life I’m also into scrapbooking. It’s the perfect way to keep and display mementoes such as tickets, photos and leaflets from holidays and days out. 
What kinds of materials do you use?
My bunting is always made from cotton fabric and felt. I love the glitter felt from Creative Craft Supplies. It’s of such a high quality and I love that it doesn’t shed and leave a glitter trail all over my house (even though I love glitter, my husband isn’t as keen!) It really captures the light and adds something a little bit special. 
For my cross stitches I use cotton thread and Aida fabric. I’ve recently started experimenting with pom pom trim and washable paper. 
What new crafts do you want to try?
I’d love to master knitting. My Nan was an incredible knitter and spend hours trying (and failing) to teach me. I’ve managed to make a scarf but I’d like to one day be able to knit myself a jumper. 
What is your favourite craft tool?
My sewing machine which was my Mum’s. 
What’s one of your favourite things you’ve made?
I made some name bunting for my friends little girl for her 2nd birthday. I don’t usually get to see people open the things I make and it was such a wonderful moment to see her excitement and happiness as she ripped open the parcel and danced around the room with it. 
What are some of your favourite things to do in your spare time?
In the last year I’ve started making my own clothes. I find the process really relaxing but it has resulted in a major fabric buying addiction! 
I also really enjoy getting out of London for a country walk
What advice would you give to people just starting out crafting?
Don’t be too hard on yourself and take your time.   I sometimes feel disappointed if a project hasn’t turned out exactly as I had pictured it in my head, but only you know how you wanted it to look. Everyone else will think it looks fab. 
What inspires your designs? 
Colour and shapes. I absolutely love colour and I really enjoy paring thread colours for cross stitches and fabrics for bunting. 
Can you tell us about your design process? 
I work closely with my customers as part of the design process for bunting. Sometimes they know exactly what fabric, wording and colours they want. Sometimes they just have an idea and I sketch up a few options and make fabric pairing suggestions. I love working with people to help make their ideas come to life. 
Do you have a studio space or work from home?
I’m luckily enough that my spare room is my craft room and Little Lamb Designs HQ. 
What’s ahead in 2018? 
This year I have made the switch from thinking of Little Lamb Designs as a hobby to seeing it as a business. I’m looking forward to growing my passion and hobby into a crafty enterprise. 
What’s your top tip for crafting?
Plan, plan again and take your time. 
Where can we find out more? 

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