Tag Archive for book

‘Sew Place Like Home’ Gift Idea for Sewists

Are you looking for a gift for your best sewing friend? Something to warm her heart this holiday season?

I’m excited to share with you a brand new book filled with sewing-related stories, essays, tutorials, recipes and more! The e-book can be downloaded instantly to your Kindle, or a free Kindle reading app on your smartphone or computer.

Sew Place Like Home

Sew Place Like Home: A Collection of Essays and Projects for People Who Love to Sew is edited by my sewing friends Jessica Abbott and Melissa Mora, and includes contributions from Stacey Byrne, Elizabeth Evans and Liz Evans, Shannon Clarke, Deborah Moebes, Jenny Rushmore and me!

To give you a little taste of what’s inside, I’m sharing a free excerpt of one of my favorite essays from the book. As I grow into motherhood myself, I am drawn to Jess’s story about sewing for her daughter:

Sew Place Like Home eBook

Excerpt from “She’ll Thank Me For This Someday,” by Jessica Abbott

It’s 1a.m., and here I sit. In front of my sewing machine, trying to desperately finish up the dress needed for tomorrow’s big school recital. The quiet whir of the machine, the feel of the satin as it slips through my fingers, a silent house, it almost has a dream like quality as my eyes start to blur from sleepiness. I stopped saying ‘5 more minutes’ hours ago.

You see, the thing is, the dress is not desperately needed. Truth be told, I could have easily gone to our local department store and picked up something similar for under $30. It would have saved me hours of time, and probably sanity.

But I am a seamstress. Do I really need to say any more than that?

My love for sewing is in my bones. And the thought of my daughter up on that stage in anything other than a handmade dress keeps me up at night…sewing.

Tomorrow morning I might wake up bleary eyed, regretting my life decisions as I reach for my third cup of coffee. But for now, all I can think of is the joy I will feel as I watch my daughter up on that stage. Walking down the center aisle, knowing that she draped in love.

….”

Sew Place Like Home Kindle

I can’t wait for you to read the rest of her story, and the other wonderful pieces in the Sew Place Like Home e-book! I’ve downloaded it to a Kindle app on my phone for late-night reading.

There is so much to be thankful for in this life, and I’m very proud to be this book because it shares some of life’s simply beautiful moments. Sewists will appreciate it the most, but it’s also great for those who love to bake, craft or create in their own ways. In addition to the essays, there are several holiday gift tutorials and recipes that are perfect for giving! I can’t wait to try the Quilt-As-You-Go Pot Holder project and the Spiced Hot Chocolate recipe mix.

Get the book

Disclaimer: Affiliate ads are included in this post, but all opinions are my own. Happy reading!

Modern Bee Blog Tour + Giveaways!

Craft Book Month may be over, but we’ve been enjoying the Modern Bee blog hop. Check out this video to learn more about the book!

 

Here are a few highlights from the tour, and you can follow the links to comment for your chance to win!

Modern Bee book

Want to win a copy of the book? Click on each one of these blogs and leave a comment there for your chance to win!

Modern Bee Giveaway

Next, some very generous sewing companies sent me some goodies to give away as part of the blog hop! Visit any of the the blogs below to fill out the Rafflecopter form for your chance to win 1 of 10 gift bags with goodies from Coats and Clark, FreeSpirit Fabrics, Timeless Treasures, Pellon and Olfa.

Modern Bee Labels JPG

Finally, you can download some FREE printables from the book over at Sew Mama Sew. The very lovely Mary designed these labels that you can print them off and send along with bee blocks to help the recipient sort out her materials!

 

The blog tour wraps up on Wednesday with a stop over to Craftsy + Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores, where you’ll have two more chances to win the book. Good luck!

 

Author Talk: Fat Quarter Shop + Giveaway!

Today we are thrilled to have the team at It’s Sew Emma Patterns and Fat Quarter Shop here to talk about their new book!

The book begins shipping today, and is called “Simply Fat Quarters.” With 10 quilt patterns that can each be made in four different sizes. Read on to learn more about the team’s self-published book and don’t forget to leave a comment at the end for your chance to win one of three copies!

It's Sew Emma (clockwise from top): Kim, Jocelyn, Sarah and Debbie

So many people have the bucket list dream to write a book, but not many realize what is involved in the process. Can you tell us a little bit about the book and your patterns business?

Here’s a little background about It’s Sew Emma! We are a dynamic team of four (Kimberly, Debbie, Jocelyn and Sarah) that design and publish patterns together. We each have different talents, tastes and specialties, which works really well. We have been publishing It’s Sew Emma patterns since 2011, which started out from one conversation in the back of a van during Quilt Market some years ago. Writing a book had always been on our minds, but it had to be the right time.

Is there a theme for the quilts/projects included in this book?

Simply Fat Quarters is geared towards using fat quarters to create quilts of all different styles and sizes. It seemed fitting to have our first book focus on fat quarters since our store is Fat Quarter Shop. There are 10 projects, and each can be made in four different sizes: crib, lap, twin and king. All are suitable for a confident beginner. Of course we think they appeal to all!

Did you work with a traditional publisher, or go the self-publishing route? What have you learned through the process?

We chose to self-publish mainly because we wanted to work on our own timeline and have complete creative control. Every step was a learning process. We researched copyrights, binding options, writing styles, distribution methods, you name it.

Establishing the pattern company while still running a fabric store did not leave much room for exploring the book idea, but we finally set a deadline for ourselves. It was a very fun and challenging process, and we like to do things fast. From idea to self-publishing, it all came together within nine months! After we decided to go the self-publishing route (very nerve-wracking to say the least), our concept, then we each submitted lots of designs to consider. After selecting our designs, we picked the fabrics for our samples, wrote instructions, did the photography, edited, tested, and edited some more. We have just finished the process, so it still feels like we’re in that dream!

Where do you find inspiration for writing new patterns? Do you have any ways to overcome the writer’s block that comes with creating designs from scratch?

Usually the inspiration for new patterns comes from fabric, a classic “chicken and the egg” situation! Sometimes you see one print that you know will be the starting point for a new quilt design, and then you take the seeds of design inspiration you’ve had sitting in your mind to do the rest. Some of us start with pencil and paper (or mouse and computer), and some start at the cutting table.

Do you have any advice for someone who wants to write a craft book or design and sell patterns?

Research how the business works and invest in beautiful photos. A great book or pattern cover is paramount. Get together a team of great testers. Most importantly, set a deadline. You will mull over your options designs forever unless you stick to a date!

Giveaway!

Hot off the presses, Simply Fat Quarters has arrived in stock at Fat Quarter Shop, and they are generously giving away 3 copies of the new book!

Simply Fat Quarters

Leave a comment telling us something you’ve learned from this Q&A for your chance to win. We’ll choose 3 random winners on October 3, 2012. Good luck!

Congrats to our three winners, #19 Libby G., Diane and #90 Linda S.!

Craft Book Author Angela Yosten + Giveaway!

Today we are excited to welcome Angela Yosten, author of the new book “Stop. Go. Quilt. Sew!” Read on to learn more about how she got started writing a book, as well as some creative ways she went about promoting the new release. There’s also a great giveaway at the end of this post!

Angela, congrats on the release of your new book, “Stop. Go. Quilt. Sew!” Can you tell me how you began a relationship with C&T Publishing?

I first came in contact with C&T Publishing when I designed a project for Moda Bake Shop’s book, “Fresh Fabric Treats” which was published by Stash Books/C&T Publishing. I had several ideas swimming around in my head for books and decided I would send in a couple of book proposals. “Stop. Go. Quilt. Sew!” was actually my second book proposal submitted to Stash. After that, I contributed two block designs to “Modern Blocks” and I am now working on my second book.

Sewing for boys is often a challenge. Do you have any tips for how to choose colors and fabrics that will appeal to boys of all ages?

I like to stick with the KISS method for boys’ fabrics: Keep It Sew Simple. Geometric prints, dots, stripes, zig zags, plaids are all great options for boys prints. I especially like to find the grunge and raw styled prints for boys, something with texture. Absolutely no florals of any kind. You don’t want them to be embarrassed; it must have that “cool” look to it if it is handmade.

Stop Go Quilt Sew

Do you have a favorite part of the book writing process? How did you handle the long wait from the time you created the projects until the book was released and you could finally talk about it?

I actually love the entire process of writing a book. It is amazing to me how much actually goes into creating a book. If I had to pick one particular part, it would have to be coming up with all the designs. I love sketching out ideas and figuring out how a project will come together. It is that “Ah ha” moment that really gets me going.

The wait from the time all the projects have been created and sent to the publisher to the time you can actually mention the book’s name, what it is about, or even a sneak peek is unbelievably hard. You want to be able to share with everyone what you are working on every night and weekend, and you can’t. I was recruiting my kids and even my husband to critique my work just so I could show someone. As soon as I would finish a project, I would run into the living room late at night, grab my husband, and say, “Come look! Come look! Tell me what you think!”

Once the projects are sent to the publisher, it is a little easier to keep quiet… out of sight, out of mind. That is until the design layout of the book comes, and then it starts all over again. But it is not that long after that you can start talking about it.

Angela Yosten Book release

After a book releases, there is quite a bit of promotion involved, both on the part of the publisher and the author. What kinds of things have you done to help get the word out about your book?

Being that this was my first book, all my own, I wanted to have a big party to celebrate the launch of my book, so I held a Book Launch and Signing Party at a local coffee shop in our town. I also held a blog tour and invited some friends in the industry to review my book. C&T does a lot for their authors as well to help promote the book which has been awesome!

Stop Go Quilt Sew

Giveaway!

We have a big giveaway today, courtesy of Angela! The prize is a complete collection of 7 patterns from Angela Yosten Patterns. Leave a comment with something you’ve learned about our Q&A with Angela for your chance to win!

Congrats to winner #29, Tonia J!

International entries welcome, and we’ll choose a winner one week from today!

Don’t forget to work on your craft book project and link it up the last week of September for our Craft Book Month party with prizes!

Craft Book Authors: Project Linus

Welcome to our first Experts Q&A of Craft Book Month, where we attempt to unravel the mysteries of craft books from the people who make them happen. From authors to editors and others involved in the publishing process, it takes many hands to get a craft book from initial idea to the printed page.

Craft Book Month

Today we are excited to share a Q&A with Mary Balagna. She and Carol Babbitt are the forces behind the charity quilting effort Project Linus. Carol (left) and Mary (right) are the authors of a new book from Lark Crafts!

When you decided to start Project Linus, did you ever imagine the idea would grow this big?

Mary: The idea for Project Linus came about on Christmas Eve in 1995.  Although Carol and I were not the founders of Project Linus, we have been actively involved since 1998 beginning our tenure as chapter coordinators.  In mid-2000, the original Board of Directors was unable to keep up with the day to day operations of a nonprofit organization and decided to close Project Linus.

Chapter coordinators and volunteers across the country were devastated by the news.  It was at that time that Carol came to the rescue, became the National President and invited me to join with her as National Vice-president.  As we reorganized Project Linus, we hoped that we would find support from those who were coordinating chapters at the time. We were thrilled to have over 150 chapters join with us and Project Linus was reborn. Over the past 12 years, we have increased the number of chapters to nearly 400 with chapters in every state. So far over 4.25 million blankets have been donated to children in crisis.

Those numbers are astounding . . . Congratulations! Can you tell me how the book with Lark Crafts came about? Did you approach the publisher, or did they approach you?

Writing a book about Project Linus has been a dream Carol and I have had for many years. In February of 2010 we were contacted by a book agent from the Howard Morhaim Literary Agency asking us if we ever considered writing a book about Project Linus.  Of course our answer was YES – we would LOVE to!  We were thrilled to be presented with this exciting opportunity. Through our own words and personal experiences, the letters from children and their parents as well as the beautiful quilt patterns we designed and collected over the years, we were ready to share our passion and love for Project Linus!  Over the next few months we wrote a proposal which was taken to various publishers by our book agent. One year later, we accepted an offer from Lark Crafts to publish our book Quilt It With Love: The Project Linus Story.

Photo: Quilt it With Love on Facebook

From your end, what was the process of writing “Quilt it With Love”?

Once we signed our contract with Lark Crafts, we continued to collect and organize our thoughts, personal stories, patterns, tips, quilting instructions and thank you notes from recipients. We learned how to draw pattern illustrations and instructions on Microsoft Word (not an easy task for us), clarify our pattern directions and basic instructions even when we thought they were already clear, survived the rewrites and finally experienced a welcome sigh of relief when we finished the book in April of 2012.

Deadlines came quickly and although we always met our deadlines (in fact we were usually early), the days before were VERY long and quite stressful. We never felt like the wait was long – in fact it was just the opposite. We were writing the book and meeting deadlines while continuing our full time work with Project Linus, orchestrating our National Conference, running our local chapter along with taking care of our family obligations and there just never seemed to be enough hours in the day. But, we did it!


Do you have advice for someone who has an idea for making the world a better place through craft? How do you get from a small spark of an idea to an organized effort?

Carol and I both love to quilt and make other types of blankets. We knew that the hug of a quilt would bring comfort and security to those children experiencing a crisis. When you combine a craft that you love and then use that skill and expertise to touch the lives of others you create a magical combination that blossoms and grows.  On a personal note, my son and two of my grandchildren experienced a life changing health crisis (which my daughter and I describe in the book). This time of trial presented me with two perspectives when it came to Project Linus – that of a volunteer and that of a recipient parent. The personal experiences I have had, have taken my passion to a new level and my dedication to and love of Project Linus continues to grow stronger as a result.

The “spark” or “idea” comes when we recognize a need that we have the ability to fill.  The organized effort begins to evolve when “spark” ignites and others begin to share our passion.  When I could no longer fill the need on my own, I recruited helpers. More helpers = more blankets = more children served. We’re so very happy to be able to fill such a need in the life of a child, yet sad that the need exists.

If anyone is interested in contacting us to do a presentation on Project Linus and a book signing for Quilt It With Love: The Project Linus Story, we would love to discuss it with them!

Mary, thanks so much for joining us today! We are excited to check out your new book and hear what’s next for you.

Project Linus on Facebook | Quilt It With Love on Facebook

 

Giveaway!

Fat Quarter Shop $100

Don’t forget to enter the $100 + more Fat Quarter Shop Kickoff Giveaway! (Ends 9/5)

 

Also, if you are hopping with us this week, check out the craft book projects below. On Friday, we’ll post our blog hop “week in review” and tell you how you can win an amazing fabric bundle from FreeSpirit just for hopping along!

Sunday 9/2: Hopeful ThreadsThe Jolly Jabber
Monday 9/3: Stitchery Dickory DockMe Sew Crazy

Book Review: Little Bits Quilting Bee

Little Bits Quilting Bee

You probably known Aussie crafter and blogger Kathreen Ricketson as the founder of Whipup.net. You might have also seen her book Whip Up Mini Quilts, with 20 smart designs for patchwork wall quilts.

Her newest book is also for quilt lovers, and it’s all about sewing with pre-cut fabrics. Little Bits Quilting Bee (Chronicle Books) includes 20 quilt designs from Kathreen’s studio, 5 each from the represented types of pre-cuts (charm squares, jelly roll strips, layer cakes and fat quarters).

The book’s 20 designs range from traditional (with modern fabrics) to whimsical/inventive, with standouts like “Cloud Song,” a bright solids quilt from charm squares with raindrop applique and cloud-shaped quilting.

Cloud Song Quilt

“Constructivist” is Kathreen’s answer to sophisticated boy decor, and it has an adult appeal, especially with her woodgrain quilting technique.

Constructivist Quilt

“Electric Spectrum” is a take on the classic log cabin, and “Rhombus” uses a strip-piecing technique. The cover quilt, “Dress Circle” is suitable for layer cakes, but isn’t an incredibly new idea. Essentially, it’s a drunkard’s path quilt using appliqued circles instead of set-in circles. Although many designs are takes on classic quilt designs, the projects in this book are beautiful and are likely to inspire new to intermediate quilters.

Modern quilters who enjoy creating their own designs or stray toward improvisational piecing are likely to become frustrated by this type of book, which is perfect for those who like to quilt from patterns. A pattern pocket in the front of the book includes enlargeable applique patterns for the quilts that require it. The book includes full-color photographs and illustrations. The matte pages give it a bit of a “green” feel.

5 Flavors

The book shows off a variety of fabrics, including solids and prints in recent and older lines, like Lush by Erin Michael for Moda. Kathreen also makes up many of her own fabric combos from Japanese prints, polka dots and stripes, which adds a nice variety to the charm pack and fat quarter quilts. The final quilts of the book show off some really innovative designs, including “5 Flavors” (channeling Life Savers candy) and “Summer Sundae,” a delicious take on a quilt for a little girl’s room.

Community Quilting

My favorite aspect of this book was Kathreen’s introduction to “Community Quilting,” in which she shares her expertise on virtual quilting bees, quilt swaps, guilds and sewing circles and charity or fundraising quilts. There are resources in the book for quilters who are looking to get more connected with others in their craft, which is a valuable aspect of the online crafting community.

Little Bits Quilting Bee

Quilters: Do you prefer to create quilts from pre-cuts or from yardage? Do you use pattern books like Little Bits Quilting Bee or create your own quilt designs?

Sewing with Oilcloth Book Giveaway

Sewing with Oilcloth book stack

Kelly McCants (a.k.a. Modern June and Oilcloth Addict on Etsy) has just released her first book, Sewing with Oilcloth.

The book is published by Wiley and incorporates sewing projects with oilcloth, laminated cottons and chalk cloth, a fabric you can actually write on like a chalk board. Fun!

Remember this free pattern we shared last week? This Chalk Cloth Table Runner is from Sewing with Oilcloth!

Here’s a video showing a sneak peek of many projects in the book and the materials used.

 

Giveaway!

One Craft Buds reader will win a copy of this gorgeous book, plus a sampling of oilcloth from Kelly’s shop. To enter, just leave a comment on this post telling me about something you’ve sewn with oilcloth or what you like about it. One winner will be announced on Monday, September 19. Update: The giveaway is now closed. Congrats to commenter #20, Valerie!

Thanks Kelly! For more peeks at this book, check out some previous stops on the blog tour:

Thursday, September 1: MADE
Friday, September 2: Craft
Monday, September 5: True Up and Craft Gossip
Tuesday, September 6: Oilcloth International
Wednesday, September 7: Average Jane Craft
Thursday, September 8: Prudent Baby
Friday, September 9: Craft Sanity
Monday, September 12: Crafty Pod
Tuesday, September 13: Sew Mama, Sew
Wednesday, September 14: Apron Memories
Thursday, September 15:  Here!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...