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Fat Quarter Book Reviews

I have a bit of an addiction when it comes to fabric. I have stacks of the stuff in many shades, lengths and weights. I have piles of charm packs and meters of patterned prints but my favourite has to be, without a doubt, Fat Quarters.

For those who don't know, a fat quarter (or FQ for short) is a piece of fabric that is usually 18 inches by 22 inches. It is made by quartering a yard/meter of fabric hence the title.

FQ's are amazing because you can get a variety of fabrics (often in coordinating ranges) for a discounted price. You can also make so many things with FQ's.

I recently had the opportunity to review two wonderful books which specialise in Fat Quarters.

Fat Quarter: Home and Fat Quarter: Quick Makes use left over scraps and remnants of fabric to create decorative and useful items for the home and beautiful gifts to give to friends and family.

Each book has 25 projects which feature step by step instructions and beautiful photos to keep you right. 

Quick Makes features tutorials on lots of different makes from "Fashion and Accessories" to "Presents" such as fabric flowers and passport covers. There is a tutorial to make use of all kinds of FQ's and fabric remnants. 


Home features tutorials for decorative household items such as tote bags, tablet covers and half aprons. With sections such as "Kitchen/Diner" and "Living room" there is something to help you personalise every room in your home.


Both books have templates at the back so that you don't have to worry about going free-hand, Just trace, cut and go.

Each tutorial also lists everything you will need to complete the project so there will be no surprises half way through (though i always recommend reading the instructions through before you start so you know what your doing).

The projects in each book are designed for even the most novice stitcher with a techniques section at the beginning to help you out if you get stuck on how to do a specific stitch.

I had hoped to test out some of the projects by the time i was ready to review these books but unfortunately my sewing machine has decided to die on me. I have looked through the tutorials thoroughly though and i promise you they are really easy to follow.

Fat Quarter: Home and Fat Quarter: Quick Makes by Amanda Russell and Juliet Bawden, published by GMC (£12.99 each, available from www.thegmcgroup.com)

**Disclaimer - These books were sent to me for free to review. However all opinion are my own. You can learn more about my disclosure policy here

Weight Loss 2.0

I was so proud of myself with how well i done on Slimming world world before my sisters wedding.
I managed to shift 2 stone in i lost count of how many weeks and i was enjoying feeling better about myself all round. I felt healthier and i was on the right track.

Then some things happened in my personal life that kind of shot everything down from the sky. My mental health went waaaaaay down hill and to be honest the last thing i could have cared about was counting those syns, There were days there i didn't bother eating at all cause i was so low and days where i looked for comfort in the bottom of a tub of Ben and Jerry's. At the time - Who cared. My life felt like it was slipping though my fingers and i was holding on for dear life.

So how are things now? Honestly i wouldn't say they are how they should be. Far from my happy little bubble i was living in, I'm slowly trying to pull my life back into some kind of semblance of normality.

One thing i have to really get on top of though is my weight.

Its getting out of control and I'm now heavier than i was when i first started trying to lose weight. I hate that i have let myself get into this situation but i did it to myself and only i can get out of it.

Last week i was 19st 7lb (I know -  That's big right!) and I'm kinda happy that this week i am down to 19st 5lb. Yeah its only 2lb but I'll take it!
I can only hope that this time, even if my personal life does take another swan dive, that i can keep going with the weight loss and hopefully find comfort in exercise rather than food.

Big Girl - You are beautiful

I'm in a bad mood.

Purely because I'm so fed up made to feel ugly just because i am a plus size woman.

I've been trying to lose weight. I have been working out but doing so in jeans is really uncomfortable. So this weekend i went for a look for some joggy bottoms/sweat pants and to be honest i wish i never bothered. Every sports shop we have in town seems to class "Large" as anything around a 12/14 ... But what happens if your not a 14? What happens if your needing a size 20?

Well i guess you're out of luck.

I decided to have a look in other clothes shops and the same ... It seems that if you are over a certain size then your not allowed to be comfortable when your trying to get healthy. New Look has recently stopped stocking plus size and thanks to BHS closing down there are no plus size clothes shops in my town.

I'm frustrated and thanks to the warm weather coming in, I'm sweating to death in my jeans.

I'm so fed up feeling ugly and frumpy and trying to lose weight is hard enough without having to realise that you kinda don't fit in with the "standard".

Maybe its just cause I'm warm and hungry thanks to this diet that I'm feeling so down but i just wanna feel pretty again.

Just cause I'm big doesn't mean i cant be beautiful too!

Tweens, the birds and the bees

I remember a night where Agent M was a wee baby, full of colic and constipation, screaming his little lungs out - and I thought this is the hardest part of parenting.

I remember a day in town just the two of us and he decided to throw a 'Grade A - mission abort - send in reinforcements' style wobbler. While trying to hold back the tears of embarrassment while wrestling this rabid monkey into a buggy I remember thinking this is definitely the hardest part of parenting.

Oh how naive I was.

The other day Agent M asked me what masturbation was ... now this. THIS is the hardest part of parenting!

A while back I got a bundle of letters from the school that Agent M had been collecting like commemorative tat in his class tray. In amongst the old sponsorship forms and requests for baked goods (god those teachers must think I'm a flake!), was a leaflet telling us that the school are going to start teaching the kids about sex and relationships.

I guess I knew it was coming (no pun intended) but I wasn't too phased about it. Agent M knew the basics from a young age. He asked so any questions so we took a trip to the library and the lady was very helpful guiding us to the age appropriate body books. He understood the fundamentals. "When a mummy and a daddy love each other very much they have a special hug ..." He got the gist and although eternally disappointed that he "left his tail in mummy's tummy" he never really asked me about it again.

Till the other day when he was playing with his magnitex and I on my laptop and out of nowhere asked what masturbation meant.

I have no idea what triggered the question. He said he heard the word as school so it had obviously been on his mind but me being totally unprepared was not how I wanted these kinds of conversations to go.

I have zero experience with raising boys. Agent M was the first boy born in my family for a while. I am used to baby girls. Being a girl myself I am fully prepared to have the period/boob talk. I'm not so well scripted on the boy talk.

Perhaps that's a fault on my part. It's not like I didn't know it was coming. I mean, he is gonna ask at some point but honestly I thought I had more time. He's only just turned 10. Can't he just stay young just that little bit longer?

Although my mum found the whole situation hysterical when i told her, I am grateful that I had her as I thought back to what she told me (and I adapted it to be boy specific).

I'm realising as Agent M is growing up I am having to adapt my parenting style a bit. He is so inquisitive that I feel being open and honest is the best approach with him. It's also important to me that he doesn't spend the majority of his adulthood recovering from his childhood.

That one question opened up such a massive conversation which caught me completely off guard - but I feel I handled well. I'm happy knowing that he understands that masturbation and Sex are both perfectly natural and normal parts of life. They are to be done in private and the latter only when you are old enough and completely ready. Never in a way that makes you or your partner feel uncomfortable and always in a safe way.

We left the conversation with him knowing that he can talk to me about anything else and that I will never judge him or be upset at his questions. In the mean time I'm researching the best books to read and going though parenting blogs like an FBI agent looking for evidence. I will not be caught off guard again dag nabit!

Surely that was the hardest part of parenting! *gulp*

My week in pictures - 7th April 2017

Its been a while since i blogged and i decided i would get back into it with a good wee phone dump. Its always fun looking through the pictures i have taken in the past 7 days - Visual reminders of the things we get up to.

With Agent M being on holiday, this last week has been all about family time. Unfortunately due to bad headaches on my part there wasn't much outside activity. I this will be rectified next week in the run up to Easter.

So instead we played with Lego and watched movies while drinking copious amounts of tea. I also took advantage of the down time and finally sorted my sticker books out. They are much more manageable now (however i ran out of space so will need to buy more rings to finish). Agent M got to have a mini vacation with his Papa though which meant that Agent D and i could go on a date night - We saw Ghost in the Shell and had dinner out. Its nice hanging out with a grown up after a week of pokemon/minecraft talk.

Being housebound also gave me the chance to get my orders sorted and ready to post before the deadline and i granted a few planner wishes too including making my 1st ever pocket letter. Not 100% i done it right but for a first time i quite like it.

I've been really slacking on my weight-loss recently which has meant that i have put some pounds back on (believe me i'm kicking myself over it) so i decided to try and get back on track - starting with Green Tea. Unfortunately for me i hate the taste of it on its own so i bought some Apple and Pear infused tea and top it up with diet lemonade (syn free) which makes it taste lovely and is refreshing now that the warmer weather is starting to make an appearance.

One big thing that happened this week was getting to meet our new baby cousin. Agent M was completely smitten with him as he is with all his little cousins and i got to have a wee cuddle which of course meant i was in hostage negotiations with my womb for the rest of the night.

All in its been a good week - I cant wait till next week though as my Mammy is coming up from England ... WooHoo!!
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