Wendi Gratz has been teaching kids to sew for as long as I can remember. She sews all the time - even when she’s not designing a pattern or writing a book. She’s taught me and my friends to sew softies, clothes, and quilts.
Nobody taught her how to sew, but she always had the tools and materials she needed to experiment and play. She says she made some really bad stuffed animals with very wobbly necks when she was seven or eight years old, but she’s gotten better since then. She grew up in lots of different places - mostly Florida and New York. By the time she graduated from high school, she had been to 18 different schools!
Making patterns is her job. She says that making a pattern isn’t really hard, but it takes a lot of time. You have to be okay with making mistakes. She makes a bunch of versions (she calls them prototypes) of each new design before she’s finally happy with it. She made a lot of versions of every project in this book before she handed the patterns over to me to make them. That’s piles and piles of softies!
She carries a notebook with her wherever she goes and jots down ideas in there. She gets ideas from everything - a picture on a notecard, a dog on a leash, patterns in carpets and floors - and they all get scribbled in the notebook. She is fun and funny and a good teacher and designer. She is also my MOM!
Jo Gratz got her first sewing machine when she was four years old, and she’s been sewing toys and clothes for herself and her dolls ever since. She even made a full-sized quilt for her bed!
Every year she competes in a costume contest at Dragon*Con, a huge science fiction and fantasy convention. She spends a lot of time every summer sewing her costume for the competition. She’s won her category twice!
Besides sewing and embroidery, Jo is really good at origami, crochet, and making things out of clay. Her favorite part of making softies is stuffing them. She says it’s so satisfying to watch them get fat - it’s like feeding them. I loved working on this book with her because Jo is my favorite (and only) daughter. :-)
By these authors: