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WELCOME TO THE FIRST POST OF MY JOURNAL! What better place to start than being invited to write a book review for design duo Juliet Bawden & Amanda Russell. Watch this space for more news and creative content. 

I first met Juliet when she came to my Artist's Open House and interviewed me for an article for "Real Homes Magazine" in 2003, a long time ago now!

Juliet & Amanda's two project-based books titled "FAT QUARTER" - "Home" and "Quick Makes" - have been expertly put together and make me want to dust off my sewing machine and get making! Both books are out now, published by The Guild of Master Craftsmen, 2017. 

Juliet & Amanda first began working together in 2013, applying their expertise in textiles, interior design, and printing to craft and design workshops for leading brands including Cath Kidston, King, Laura Ashley and Heals.

We all have a box full of fabric which we can't bear to part with and, the goods news is, you don't have to. In case you are not familiar with the term, fat quarters are a popular way for patchworkers to purchase fabric. They are taken from one yard of fabric,cut in half lengthwise,and then in half width-wise. The dimensions are approximately 18" x 22" (46cm x 56cm). A normal quarter yard cut from a bolt would measure 44" x 9" (112cm x 23cm).

Each book features 25 Projects helping faciliate the making of unique, hand-made pieces ranging from decorated bed-linen and peg-bags to bunting and button covers. Even passport covers feature to cheer up those inevitable plane delays!

All projects have easy to follow step-by-step instructions and beautiful photographs. The books are helpfully divided into themes such as fashion accessories or baby & child and into the different rooms of a house; living room to bedroom, bathroom, and utility room.

My favourite projects from the HOME book are the Embroidery Hoop-Art which is a big trend at the moment and the customized bath mat with a glorious Ampersand stitched onto the towelling in generous zig-zag and bright, bold colours.

The demand for crafts shows no sign of waning - we are becoming increasingly aware of the value in the hand-made and particularly in making good use of materials which might otherwise go to waste.

All of the fabrics featured in these excellent books are carefully chosen and bang on trend with a retro, vintage feel; bringing craft projects up-to-date, complementing accessories in the home, and providing a much welcomed opportunity to switch the computer off and reward yourself by making something tactile and fun.

"These books are aimed at those with some basic sewing skills, and as a source of inspiration for those with more sewing experience. We hope you have as much fun making them as we did". Juliet & Amanda

Check out Juliet's blog "Creative Colour"


Jehane Boden Spiers