Welcome to day two!
In case it is your first time here, let me introduce myself...
I'm Liz (Elizabeth/Bethy/Betsy…) and I live in Brighton, UK. I write, teach, and ran a shop for five years called Quilty Pleasures, which now sells online and at events.
You can find out more about me over here.
I was thrilled when Ame asked me to contribute to the 50 Fat Quarter Makes book, as I had worked with FW before and love the style of their books. This book is no exception. There are a really good range of projects, with easy to follow instructions and beautiful photography.
My projects from from the book are below, and then I have written a list about why I find fat quarters so useful to sew with.
1. Hedgehog Trio
I like making prairie points and this project is inspired by the retro dinosaurs I have seen that use the points for their spikes. This was an interesting project for me, as most of my work is patchwork and quilting, not soft toy making, and made quite a few prototypes to get the shape correct.
2. Tea Cosy
When I am working from home I love having a pot of tea on the go, so this is an essential for me!
3. Patchwork Skirt
This project is another nod to my retro inspiration. I am starting to see more patchwork clothing around at the moment, however it was very popular in the 1970s. This skirt is lined, so is comfortable to wear, and the craft weight cotton means it holds its shape well.
4. Table Cloth
I designed this thinking of hot sunny days in the garden, with a glass of something sparkling in hand, and a barbecue on the go... There is no wadding inside (as not needed for a tablecloth) and I have backed it with some plain cotton fabric. If you are making it in a hurry you can simply overlock, zig zag stitch, or pinking sheer the raw edges, then place it on the table.
1. They are convenient to buy
Say you have a pattern that requires 10 different fabrics. You pop into your local quilt shop to get supplies and find there are six fabrics you love, but are struggling to choose the other four. After 20 minutes there are about 17 bolts piled up on the counter. Other customers require fabric cut, the very helpful shop assistant is assuring you they are happy to put back what you don't want, but you are thinking they haven't yet discovered you only want a 25cm strip of each. You aren't sure if that shade of green is right and the car parking ticket is running out... arghhh, fabric shopping is supposed to be enjoyable! Sounds familiar?
The beauty of fat quarters is that you can easy pick up a pile and quickly sort through to see what you might like, and what you don't. You can repeat this, then go back to your pile of maybes and edit them down. You aren't having to wrestle with a 6ft stack of bolts, or take over the shop. It is also easier to see what a small piece of the fabric will look like when you are holding a fat quarter, compared to bolts. Of course, for projects where you need larger piece of fabric you need to use bolts, but for projects where smaller pieces are needed these are much more convenient,
Note: This scenario especially applies to shows where it can be too busy to walk round with an armful of bolts! Even if you need larger pieces, it helps the traders for you to select the fabrics you need as fat quarters, then let them grab and cut them off the bolts.
2. They are easy to store
You can stack them on shelves like this, or store them in boxes. Some companies even have bags and boxes that are just the size to store them.
When I had my shop I used Ikea CD towers like this one to store my fat quarters. They are inexpensive, the fat quarters fit in perfectly and they make it easy to see your fabrics at all times.
3. They are economical
A fat quarter and a long quarter each contains the same amount of fabric, however in many cases the fat quarter is a more economical buy. For example, or you are cutting 6 1/2in squares, you will get nine from a fat quarter, and only seven from a long quarter (this example refers to metric fat quarters). If you are using a fabric with stripes, you have more choice about which way you want the direction of the print to go.
4. They are easier to cut
I teach lots of beginners classes where students are introduced to rotary cutters, and I see they find it far easier to cut units from a fat quarter, than from a larger piece of fabric.
5. Fat quarter projects
Books, such as the one I am chatting about today, make it easy to choose fabric for a project as you know you just need to buy fat quarters. As many shops pre-cut them you can quickly pick them up on your lunch break, and don't have to ask your shop to cut them, or worrying you don’t have enough scraps in your stash to make it. You can simply choose the fabric you like, and get straight down to sewing.
If you would like to win a copy of the book, plus a stash of fat quarters and other fabrics to play with, Jo at myBearpaw, has a fantastic compeition on her blog. You can find out how to enter here.
Thanks for reading - to find out more about the book follow the book on its tour.
Monday 1st June - Jo Avery - myBearpaw
Tuesday 2nd June - Liz Betts - BetsyBetts
Wednesday 3rd June - Ali Burdon - VeryBerryHandmade
Thursday 4th June - Jesse Fincham - MessyJesse
Friday 5th June - Louise Horler - SewScrumptious
Monday 8th June - Kevin Kosbab - Feeddog
Tuesday 9th June - Emily Levey - StrawberryPatchRamblings
Wednesday 10th June - Cynthia Shaffer
Thursday 11th June - Kaye Prince - MissPrint
Friday 12th June - Ame Verso - StitchCraftCreate