About

My name is Wendi Gratz. Welcome to my Shiny Happy World! I hope you see something here that makes you smile.

I spent over twenty years working in the children’s book industry and the experience has left its mark on me – all my favorite artists are children’s book illustrators, I believe people are basically good, and I can’t abide beige.

Now I live in the mountains of North Carolina where I spend my time designing sewing, quilting and embroidery patterns especially for beginners. I’m on a mission to teach people that anyone can sew! Or quilt! Or embroider!

All my patterns are designed especially for beginners and I never release a pattern until I have videos teaching every single skill needed for the project. It’s the whole foundation of what I do and it’s all because of my experience as a learner and as a teacher. I’m a self-taught sewist, and I learned before there was an internet. I still have such vivid memories of struggling with the instructions in patterns and sewing books! They assumed so much knowledge that I didn’t have (I didn’t even take home ec in high school so I had NO base knowledge) and the spare illustrations felt so cryptic to me. I was a student with a weird schedule and no car, so taking in-person classes was out of the question. And then I discovered the show Simply Quilts and it was like the whole world opened up. Alex Anderson was in my living room showing me how to quilt and it was all so clear! I want to provide that experience for my readers.

I also know from my experience teaching that we all learn best when we’re excited about what we’re learning. That’s why I always advocate choosing a pattern you’re excited about and making it in a fabric you love – even if that means a pattern that might be a little above your skill level. By having video tutorials teaching every skill in every pattern, every pattern becomes a little workshop. It might take you a little longer because you’re stopping to watch all the videos, but I really believe a beginner can make any of my patterns – and learn a lot of skills along the way that they can apply to other projects.

Send me an email. (smile@shinyhappyworld.com)

Want to know a little more about me? Read this post.

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That's me!

“You're like the Julia Child of sewing skills: an everywoman who just wants other folks to feel as comfortable with these skills as you are. . . Thanks so much for sharing your considerable knowledge.”

—Shannon

MY SHINY HAPPY WORLD

MY FIRST QUILT
MY FAMILY
MY HOME
MY DOG
 

MY SHINY HAPPY CREED

I believe color and whimsy are not just for little people.
I believe your hair should be any color you want it to be.
I believe in eating dessert every day. No exceptions.
I believe toys made for babies should be machine washable.
I believe in hammocks.
I believe you can make it yourself.
I believe you can never have too many books.
I believe in playing with your food. Also your clothes, your toys. your jewelry, and your friends.
I believe that purple goes with everything.
I believe children’s books aren’t just for children.
I believe we all need hugs. . . lots of hugs.
I believe in doodling.
I believe in a Shiny Happy World.