Meet the Author
Hey there, can you introduce yourself?
We are Amanda Russell and Juliet Bawden hence R&B designs. We are imaginative craft and product innovators, designing projects from a twinkle in the eye to styled and directed, print ready images.
Juliet has written over 80 craft books as well as doing radio broadcasts, television and room makeovers for newspaper and magazines. She has worked as a design consultant for a number of firms including Dylon.
Amanda, stylist writer, was Linda Barker’s right hand woman for several years designing for TV programmes, designing and styling makeovers, problem solving and writing for magazines. She has worked as a design consultant for a variety of companies designing textiles and corporate identity.
Since joining forces in 2014 we have designed, made, styled and photographed commissioned projects for craft and homes magazines and websites and have run workshops for the WI, Fashion and Textile museum, Kirstie’s Handmade Fair, Campaign for Wool, as well as corporate clients. These are our first two jointly written books.
Tell us a bit about the book?
Fat Quarter: Quick Makes is as it says on the cover, projects that take very little time to make. They are easy and stylish. We both feel that the work we put our name to is stylish and reflects our design ethos. The book is divided into chapters which include fashion and accessories, baby and children, workroom and presents.
What was the inspiration behind it?
Like many makers and designers, we are forever making projects and buying fabric. Often when a project is finished there is left over fabric. We do not like waste and why throw away any remnants if we can make something from them. This where the inspiration came from, a stylish book to use up lots of fabric remnants.
Which is your favourite project?
Juliet: It is hard to say which my favourite project as there are so many I like. I think it is probably the flags and the bunting they are so jolly and cheerful.
Amanda: The baby bloomers are gorgeous and I love the idea of using up even the tiniest of fabric scraps, the fabric covered buttons are stunning and super easy.
What is your craft space like?
We are lucky that we have a large studio complete with a sink and washing machine. This means that we can do dyeing as well as sewing and other crafting projects.
Have you always been creative?
Juliet: My mother taught me to sew when I was quite young and I have always made and designed different kinds of things.
Amanda: In my family everyone was always stuck into a making project, we had a studio with a stash of paint, paper, felt and textiles where we made all day long.
When did you first start crafting?
Juliet: I can’t remember the first thing I made but I always made my own clothes especially when I was at art school and wanted something new to wear to a party and didn’t have any money to go out and buy off the peg.
Amanda: I was taught to sew by my sister and mother and the sewing machine was always ready on the table. We made lots of or own clothes that we wanted and the shops did not stock.
Who are your crafty heroes?
Juliet: I love the work of Kaffe Fassett am a great admirer of Jane Cumberbatch.
Amanda: I love the Cath Kidston books and Cabbages and Roses.
Where do you find inspiration?
Juliet: Exhibitions, galleries, charity shops, natural land and seascapes.
Amanda: I love to street watch and museums are always inspiring
What's next for you?
We are busy promoting this book and its sister book Fat Quarter: Home. We work together on some projects as well as working independently on our own projects that play to our strengths.
Discover all you can make with just a bit of time and half a yard of fabric (or less) in Fat Quarter: Quick Makes, part of a fantistic new series of stash-busting sewing books for beginner and intermediate crafters. Each of the 25 super-quick and easy projects has easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions and beautiful photograph as well as a comprehensive tools and techniques section. Fat Quarter: Quick Makes is packed with ideas for using up leftover remnants of fabric to make a range of useful items for your home or garden, or to give as gifts.