"Containing 15 fresh, fun fat-quarter projects, from doorstops and drawstring bags to tablemats, aprons and cushions, this book is ideal for sewers of all abilities. It starts with a comprehensive techniques section, guiding you through a variety of useful techniques, from inserting a zip and sewing buttonholes to creating patchwork. The techniques are fully explained and are combined with easy-to-follow step-by-step photography. The book then leads on to the projects; each contains inspiring photography, instructive hand-drawn illustrations and heaps of handy hints and tips. Each project is made from fat quarter fabric, but there is no reason why you can’t cut your own or use up some of your cherished left-over stash fabrics instead."
Search Press Book Review – Fun with Fat Quarters by Wendy Gardiner
“15 gorgeous sewing projects for using up your fabric stash”
As you can see from the cover, this is a book of projects for using up those lovely little pieces of fabric you have bought or accumulated over the years, but which don’t quite go with the rest of your stash. It’s a new book from Search Press, which came out earlier this year.
The book is well presented and has nice clear pictures – a mixture of photographs and sketches. The book is aimed at beginners, starting off with “What is a fat quarter?” and going on from there to materials, tools and techniques.
I decided to have a go at making a pinwheel block, as I’d always been scared of having to sew the triangles together (don’t ask!) but this way is really easy!
The projects start at Page 41, but a lot of them didn't really inspire me - things like the apron could be resized to fit a range of people, and the draught excluder would be great as a child's first sewing machine project as it's just straight lines (though they may need a bit of help with the "box ends").
There are some lovely cute projects, such as the drawstring shoe bag and lingerie bag with applique high heels and underwear! I liked the description of the party clutch and the “Bubble” technique, which I’d only seen previously using shrink polyester. The “Tucked and stitched pillow” looked like a great opportunity to try out all those fancy stitches on your sewing machine, and the tucked bit suddenly looks easier than I thought it would be!
What I made:
I had some sample pieces of upholstery fabric I’d collected over the years, so thought this would be a good opportunity to use them up by trying to make pinwheel blocks.
I actually got out my iron this time! It’s amazing how much easier it makes things … (Yeah, who knew!)
So I followed the nice clear instructions, and although my blocks aren’t perfect they’re not too bad, especially as upholstery fabric is quite thick and there’s a lot of fabric where all the corners meet.
Once I’d made a couple of blocks I wondered what I should do with them … once I laid out all my pieces of fabric I realised I had enough to make a cushion, and I even had a zip.
I tried various layouts …
I sewed the pieces together in strips, evened them up and sewed them all together to make a square.
I found some plain calico in my material box which I used for the backing, and I actually got the zip right this time – no visible stitches on the outside – I’m really proud of it!
So here is the finished cushion, which I love and will be staying in my lounge.
Thanks so much to my lovely colleagues at Search Press for my review copy of this book.
You can buy your copy here for just £10.99: http://www.searchpress.com/book/9781782211464/fun-with-fat-quarters
In case you’re wondering why I am working on my patchwork skills and not my silk painting at the moment, my long term plan is to make cushions out of my hand painted silk fabrics. Watch this space and sign up to my mailing list to be the first to know!
In other news …
Spring 2016 silk painting course dates coming soon ...
I have set up a new group for silk painters in the UK. Everyone who has tried silk painting is welcome to join us - we've got a mix of new and experienced painters so it should be great fun. We can get together in a friendly environment and chat about stuff / share hints and tips etc. Here it is! https://www.facebook.com/groups/1640085952923187/
You can also find me on my Facebook page :)
Experienced silk painter, glass fuser, teacher, enthusiastic and inspirational.