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Sample Projects

Al Fresco Placemat

Al Fresco Placemat

Fun with Fat Quarters

♥ 4

Meet the Author

Hey there, can you introduce yourself?

Medium wendy gardiner 2015

Wendy has successfully worked as a freelance writer, teacher and author in the sewing industry all her working life, during which time she has held the role of editor of several leading sewing magazines as well as having written 16 books and presented 11 DVDs. She also runs regular residential Creative Sewing Weekends and writes projects and technique articles for various magazines and her own resource website www.isew.co.uk which is packed with tips, techniques and projects. Wendy is also a regular guest presenter on shopping channels Ideal World and Create & Craft TV plus she works with the leading pattern and haberdashery companies in the UK and organisers of the Knitting and Stitching shows to deliver extensive workshop programmes.
All this has led to Wendy having a strong reputation and indeed fan base because of her enthusiastic and friendly approach to sharing her passion for all things to do with sewing. She is well known by keen sewists as well as the leading companies in the industry for her extensive skill base and knowledge of the sewing market.
“I passionately believe in passing on sewing skills and knowledge so that more people can make their own fashion and furnishings and realise it’s a pastime that can be fast, fun, fashionable and affordable. With today’s modern equipment and sewing machines it really can be easy to sew and I love to share that fact.”


Tell us a bit about the book?

Fun with Fat Quarters is a book of simple projects to inspire you to use your fat quarters and other fabric remnants. Like me, so many sewists love fat quarters for the beautiful prints, colours and combinations, but what to do with them can be a dilemma! In my book, I've included the basic techniques you need to sew a whole variety of projects, which range from simple seaming options, different methods of quilting and go onto include piping, buttonholes, zip insertion, decorative stitching, using twin needle and more. These are then used in the projects which range from bags to cushions, draught excluder and door stop, diamond star placemat and a retro-frilled apron. There are 15 projects to whet your apetite for Fat Quarters!


What was the inspiration behind it?

My inspiration was the fat quarters themselves. I love them, I love the fact that they are often sold in co-ordinated bundles and that the size of them means you can buy a lovely mixture of fabrics fairly cheaply. I use them all the time to make samples for the TV shows I do and for projects for my sewing classes.


Which is your favourite project?

This is really hard for me - because I loved making them all! I love the tucked and stitched cushion because I do love the tucked technique and using decorative stitches on my sewing machine. But the crazy patch cushion with piping is another favourite too as are the drawstring bags with free motion applique, another technique I love.


What is your craft space like?

At the moment a mess! I've just done a craftsy.com class so have samples and set dressing pieces all around! I also have a number of sewing machines as I am testing them and lots of leather to make some bags for a class I am teaching in September.


Have you always been creative?

Yes I think so! I have always loved sewing, making my own clothes and restyling or customising charity shop finds. I love to sew, I find it relaxing and rewarding and always appreciate comments on what I wear - I try to be original.


When did you first start crafting?

The very first things I made were clothes and bedding for my dolls. Also, when I was eleven I sewed flames up the trouser legs of my black flares, I thought I looked the bees knees.


Who are your crafty heroes?

I love Claire Shaeffer for her couture insight and expertise (she has worked with so many of the famous designers). Alison Smith and Lorna Knight are two colleagues whose work and books I love. In the quilting world, my absolute hero is Jennie Rayment who is so talented and skilled, has a range of great books filled with easy to follow techniques and humour and really does have a unique way of working.


Where do you find inspiration?

I look online, at magazines and books, but I also find inspiration in totally unrelated areas such as displays of spices, wood grain in trees etc. I take pictures of patterns in nature and shapes I see. I also look at ready-made items in shops and see if there is a way to adapt, change and develop an idea into something of my own.


What's next for you?

Well, I;ve just filmed the craftsy.com class (on sewing machine feet) and am planning some more DVD clips. I also continue to organise the workshop programmes for the Knitting and Stitching shows, teach weekly and I am about to start a 4 week dressmaking class - so life continues to be very busy!

Publisher's Description

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.

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