Tag Archive for craft book month

Craft Book Month: Week 1 in Review + Giveaway!

Did you catch all of the great projects from our Craft Book Month 2014 blog hop last week? We saw everything from quilted pillows covers to knitting projects and needlework and easy applique!

In case you missed a few, I’ve been pinning them on this Craft Book Month Pinterest board, so make sure you follow me on Pinterest.

Craft Book Month Projects Week 1

Heidi from Fabric Mutt shared a Cotton + Steel patchwork pillow.

Want to make an easy child’s tee? Lindsay Sews has a great project idea for you!

Rae Gun Ramblings shares how to mend and remake children’s clothes!

Applique fashionable throw pillows with a tutorial from the Craftside blog.

Knit up a home makeover with The Feisty Redhead!

Quilt some throw pillows the Elizabeth Hartman way with Nancy of The Fabric Studio.

Get stitchy with a needlework clutch pattern by Anna Maria Horner at Marci Girl Designs.

Small Town Stitcher shows off adorable embroidery hoop wall art!

Make a quilted tote bag with Lindsey from LRstitched.

Sharon at A Prairie Sunrise was inspired by a beary cute children’s book that also has knitting patterns!


Did you enter the Chunky Knits book giveaway? Our friend Ashley wrote this book which includes fun and fashionable home decor projects you can knit for your living space. You can win the book before it hits stores! The giveaway ends in 2 days, to don’t delay.

Here are the bloggers to follow this week!

Monday 9/8: Hopeful Threads / sewVery

Tuesday 9/9: 13 Spools / Lisa Liza Lou

Wednesday 9/10: Stitch This! / My Sewcial Hour

Thursday 9/11: The Littlest Thistle / Fabric Seeds

Friday 9/12: Sew Sweetness / Clover + Violet

Monday 9/15: Inspire Me Grey / amylouwho


If you’d like to craft along with us, just share a project that you’ve created from any craft book this year. There are some great prizes to be won!

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!


Winners! Craft Book Month 2013

We had a fabulous turnout for Craft Book Month 2013, and . . . it’s time to choose the winners! Each winner was randomly selected from all entries using Random.org. Winners, I’ll be in touch soon, but if you’d like to shoot me an e-mail to lindsay.conner(at)gmail(dot)com with info on the prize you’ve won, that would be fantastic!

Without further ado:

#83, Jodie: Sun Print Text half-yard bundle by Alison Glass for Andover

#32 Jess @ The Sewing Rabbit: Roly Poly Pattern and 2 yards of cotton lawn from imagine gnats

#17 Lisa Marie: $25 Gift Certificate for fabric at Owl + Drum

#64, Kirsten @ Gemini Stitches: Signed copy of ‘Growing Up Modern by Allison Harris’ +
1/8″ gingham fat quarter bundle from Riley Blake Design from Fabric Seeds

#74, Joanne @ Rose @ Dahlia: Four PDF patterns from Emmaline Bags:
the Emmaline Bag, the Steph-in-the-City Bag, the Necessary Clutch Wallet, and the Boyd St. Bowling Bag

#37, Norma: 3 PDF Patterns from Clover + Violet

#22, Leanne @ She Can Quilt: Simply Fat Quarters book,

#62, Nesta: Angles with Ease book,

#71, Lisa @ In the Boon Docks: Simply Retro book from Fat Quarter Shop

#73, Mara @ Secretly Stitching: Casual Lady Pattern PDF from Go To Patterns

#65, Diya @ The Hobby Harbor: Volume One for Five & Ten Designs from The Sewing Rabbit

#54, Katy @ The Littlest Thistle: Flip Dolls & Other Toys book, Stitched Blooms book & Stuffed Animals book from Lark Crafts

#14, Debbie @ A Quilter’s Table: Quilting Block + Pattern-a-Day 2014 Calendar and the Posh Retro Reels Planner from Andrews McMeel (U.S. and Canada only)

#23, Beth T.: Becoming a Confident Quilter book and Quilts Made with Love book from Martingale (U.S. only)

#46, Kristen @ Gooba Designs: Sewing for All Seasons book and 1, 2, 3 Quilt book from Chronicle Books

#50, Veronica @ Sew Very: Skirt-a-Day Sewing book and Sewing School 2 book from Storey Publishing (U.S. only)

Craft Book Author Sian Keegan Q&A + Giveaway!

Have you ever sewn a stuffed animal? Today, we’re chatting with craft book author and stuffies expert Sian Keegan, author of the lovely new book How to Make Stuffed Animals (Quarry Books).

Sian, welcome to Craft Buds! In your book, you mention that you’ve learned a great deal of your technique through other craft books. What does it mean to you to be able to write this book and share your passion with others?

It makes me so happy to see photos of animals made from my patterns! After spending years creating custom stuffed animals, it feels great to share what I’ve learned with others.

In a lot of ways the time I spent making my 3D Pet Portraits was like my stuffed animal-making boot camp. I had to improvise techniques and patterns on the fly to create different shapes and textures for each unique pup that came through my inbox.

For visual people like myself I think a book is the best way to learn a new craft technique. In-person demonstrations are often difficult for me–a whole group of people watching one set of hands, having to digest information in one sitting through mostly verbal instruction. I like having something I can always refer back to and do problem-solving on my own.

Photo: Sian Keegan

2) Can you give me a snapshot of the process of writing this book?
I wrote the book in the summer of 2011. I started sometime in July and turned in all of the text, illustrations, and photos (by Jen Korff) by October 1st. We continued editing the text while Caitlin Keegan worked on the design. It was finished by the end of that year!
Photo: Jen Korff
What do you love about sewing and making stuffed animals?

I love seeing oddly shaped pieces of fabric come together the make a 3D form. My favorite part is stuffing the animal and adding all the details that make it come to life in the end. I kept the patterns in the book really simple with as few pieces as possible, both to make it easy for beginners and to limit the time cutting fabric and sitting at the sewing machine to get to the truly fun part.
Photo: Jen Korff
If you were teaching a friend how to make stuffed animals, what basic supplies would you recommend she add to her sewing kit right away?

Definitely invest in a super sharp pair of fabric scissors and never cut paper with them! I also suggest getting a few crochet hooks. I use the hook part to pull the animals right-side out after I finish sewing them, and the rounded bottom to push small bits of stuffing into the legs and head.

For fabrics, my advice is to grab materials that speak to you right when you see them, even if you don’t have a specific project in mind. It’s convenient to buy materials for a project in one stop at the craft store, but collecting fabrics and notions over time from different places makes for a more interesting and personal finished project.
Photo: Sian Keegan
Sian, what’s next for you?

I’ve been working on patterns for more cuddly, doll-like stuffed animals (above). I’ve posted a few patterns in my shop and I hope to share more in another book at some point! I’ve also been experimenting with non-animal soft sculptures like plants, houses, and other forms, as well as quirkier items like my Birthday Shrimp (below). My background is in textile/surface design so I’m always designing 2D patterns as well!
Photo: Sian Keegan


Would you like to win a copy of Sian’s new book, How to Make Stuffed Animals?

Leave a comment on this post telling us one thing you’ve learned from our interview with Sian, and you could win!


(Giveaway open to U.S. readers only. We’ll choose a winner one week from the date of this post.)

Craft Book Month: sewVery + Craftside

It’s hard to believe, but there are only two more days of the Craft Book Month 2013 blog hop! Have you been inspired by our talented contributors? We’d still love to see what YOU’VE been making . . . you have until the end of the month to link up your craft book projects!

Every so often, my actual life and blogging life collide. When my husband and I moved across the country last winter, I was so glad to know that Veronica at sewVery was in town, and she’s been absolutely invaluable in helping me to settle into this new place! Today on her blog, Veronica is showing off an adorable baby doll carrier using a pattern from the Oliver + S book Little Things to Sew. (STC Craft). If you have a child who collects baby dolls, this is a really unique gift idea! Her blog also offers a wealth of information on sewing pattern reviews, tutorials and more.


Head on over to Veronica’s blog to see this baby doll carrier in action!


Stefanie at the Craftside blog made a recycled sweater and doily sunglasses case, inspired by the new book Zakka Handmades by Amy Morinaka (Creative Publishing International). This book is filled with lots of cute little gifts to sew and for family, friends or for yourself! I love the idea of sewing with upcycled materials, and so does Stefanie. She’s actually written a book on repurposing sweaters herself!

Craftside is also offering a giveaway for a copy of the book, which you can enter to win here!


Want to join us and sew along for Craft Book Month 2013?

Also, check out the Craft Book Month Prizes!

Enter to win fabric, thread + more in the Coats and Clark giveaway!

Craft Book Month: Inspire Me Grey + Angela Yosten

Did you catch yesterday’s Craft Book Month 2013 posts? I was on the road yesterday attending a wedding, but was so happy to catch up on the blog hop today and see even more of your lovely, book-inspired projects!


My friend Elizabeth over at Inspire Me Grey whipped up one of the cover projects from the book Pillow Pop by Heather Bostic (Stash Books)! The angular patchwork design looks just fabulous in her fabric choice of Madrona Road with lots of black and white thrown in for contrast. I love the use of quilt binding on the pillow edges, which gives is a really polished finish.


Click over to find out how Elizabeth chose her project and to see more pics!


The lovely Angela Yosten also shared a project, this one from her new release with Stash Books called Sew Modern Baby. Inside the book, you’ll find patterns for all types of handmade baby toys and accessories, including an interactive play gym, animal rattles, building blocks and more. The vintage, scrappy nature of the feathers makes this heirloom piece all the more special.


Read more about the family heirloom that inspired Angela’s project!


Want to join us and sew along for Craft Book Month 2013?

Also, check out the Craft Book Month Prizes!

Craft Book Month: Lindsay Sews + 13 Spools

Happy Friday the 13th! No doom and gloom here . . . we’re just popping by to share a couple more blog hop projects for Craft Book Month 2013!

Speaking of 13, have you met Amy of 13 Spools? She has a lovely blog with free quilt patterns, sew alongs and more! Amy is a friend of mine from the Indianapolis Modern Quilt Guild, and today she’s sharing her project from Vanessa Christenson’s book Make it Sew Modern (Martingale). I am in love with the fluffy texture of this Spring-Blossom wreath. Doesn’t it look just like frosting on a wedding cake?


Read more about how Amy made her wreath (hot glue, anyone?) on her blog!


I’m sharing a behind-the-scenes look at my “Baseball Curves” quilt, made for the book Modern Bee — 13 Quilts to Make with Friends (Stash Books) over at my other blog! Find out what color I chose for the binding… and then ripped off completely to start over. :) You can also comment over there to win a copy of the book before it releases on Amazon.


Visit Lindsay Sews >> Enter the giveaway!

Craft Book Month: Sew Sweetness + amylouwho

Happy Thursday! Are you gearing up for the weekend yet? Today we have two more projects to share from our awesome Craft Book Month 2013 blog hoppers!

My friend Sara at Sew Sweetness has rocked it today by unveiling her Marcelle Medallion Quilt in stunning solids and text prints! The pattern comes from the book Liberty Love by Alexia Marcelle Abegg (Stash Books). Can you guess how many days it took her to piece the top? Go ahead, and take a wild guess . . .


Hop over to Sara’s blog to find out the answer!


Are you hungry yet? I’m pretty sure I’d like to head over to amylouwho‘s house today for lunch, since she’s whipped up a gorgeous pot of Tortellini, White Bean, and Spinach Soup. Yum! It’s from the crafty cookbook Cooking Light: 1998 Annual Recipes (Leisure Arts). And on that note, it’s time to get some lunch. :)


Head over to Amy’s blog to read more about her inspiration!


Yes, it’s true… if you’d like to participate in craft book month but, like Amy and myself, do not have your sewing room set up from a recent move, you are free to submit a recipe or any other craft book project. Please join us!

Also, check out the Craft Book Month Prizes!

Enter to win a free e-book from Martingale & Co.

Craft Book Author/Editor: Jenny at Martingale + Giveaway!

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at your favorite craft book publishers? Jenny Wilding Cardon, Content Editor at Martingale & Co., is here today to spill the beans on her job, how she got into the industry and what you may not realize about working in the craft book industry!


1) Jenny, you have a background as both a craft-book author and editor. Has it helped you in your career to understand both sides?

Absolutely! It’s been particularly helpful to have an author’s perspective when I’m doing my day job—and right now that’s as the content editor for Martingale’s Stitch This! blog. I’ve published my own work twice, so I understand what designers go through to create a book. It’s an incredible amount of work in a very deadline-driven environment. Lots of people are counting on you to produce quality work, and they need you to get everything done on time so the rest of the team (designers, editors, marketers, etc.) can do their job. It’s truly a team effort to publish a book, but it all begins with the author. Knowing how it feels to have that kind of responsibility on your shoulders from the get-go has helped me understand that supporting our authors in any way we can is essential—especially first-time authors who might need a confidant, a sounding board, and a cheerleader all in one!

2) Can you tell me a little bit about your background and how you got into publishing?

Fresh out of college, I’d recently moved to the Seattle area. I knew I wanted to pursue a career that involved writing. I applied for a copywriting job that stated “sewing and quilting experience a plus.” What?! I hadn’t sewn since high school. Back then I would sew quirky clothes and, being shy, I would make my friends wear them to school. I missed that kind of creativity!

After two interviews at Martingale, I was given a catalog of their books, along with a book called Threadplay. I was asked to write exciting, engaging catalog copy for the book. Completely intrigued with the catalog—so many gorgeous, creative books!—I wrote the best copy I could muster (in 25 words, mind you, as that was the limit for catalog copy). Three days later I received a call that I’d gotten the job. I’ve been working for Martingale since then—first in the office, and then offsite in Utah (where I now live). They are a fantastic company to work for and I feel so lucky to continue to be a part of the team, even though it’s a very virtual experience!

This is how the office sees me in weekly meetings—on a laptop computer in the conference room. See my coworkers in the little screen on the bottom right? Hi guys!

Many avid quilters work at Martingale, so it’s no surprise that just two months into my new job, I was hooked on quilting. I made my first quilt entirely by hand…and then quickly bought my first sewing machine.

My first quilt!

After 10 years with the company, I created my first collection of quilts for publication, The Little Box of Baby Quilts, which was inspired by the birth of my first son, Jack.

Left: Jack and his many quilts. Right: “Flying Frogs” from The Little Box of Baby Quilts

In 2011, I revisited those high-school sewing roots and wrote ReSew, which features projects for transforming thrift-store finds into tops, skirts, dresses, purses, scarves and more—and there’s a quilt in there, of course!

ReSew: Turn-Thrift Store Finds into Fabulous Designs

Here’s the “Sleeveless V” project from ReSew—a sweatshirt turned into a summery tank. That’s me on the left giving an “Oh, really?” look to my oldest son as my husband snapped a photo for people in the office to see. That’s a gorgeous model on the right, in the final photo of the project for the book. It was so fun to see my projects on professional models!

3) What does a typical day look like for you, in your job?

With posts to write, blogging calendars to schedule, authors to contact, and all kinds of quilt news to cover, it’s always a busy day! I start my day by touching base with our social media fans on Facebook and Pinterest. Then it’s off to the races! We blog five times a week, and we have posts coming in from staff, authors, magazines, and other sources. I do a lot of writing, and I also facilitate posts coming from other writers. Lots and lots of emails are involved!

4) What is your favorite part about working in craft book publishing?

The creativity that’s involved in every step. First there’s the author’s creation of the projects; then there’s the editorial department’s creation of the book itself. Finally, it falls to the marketing department to create fresh, new ways to get the book in front of people’s eyes. Every step of the process is jam-packed with opportunities to think outside the box. It’s a blessing to be part of a group that asks you to stretch your creativity, rather than stay put in the box.

5) What is something about the life of a craft book that would surprise the average person?

How many people are involved in making a book come to life! In addition to our talented and dedicated authors, there are 40 people who work at Martingale. We publish more than 50 books each year, and every person leaves their mark on every book in some way.

Martingale staffers show off quilt blocks from last year’s “Blocks, Borders, Quilts!” round-robin challenge.


You can browse Martingale’s free patterns, how-to-quilt downloads, and books at their site, ShopMartingale.com.

Thank you so much for the opportunity to share a bit about what it’s like to work at Martingale, Lindsay. Craft Buds is such great resource for the business side of handmade—and for the fun side too! Happy Craft Book Month, everyone!



Leave a comment on this post telling us something you’ve learned about craft book publishing from our Q&A with Jenny. You could win an e-book version of the book Modern Basics II by Amy Ellis, or ANY Martingale e-book of your choice!

Read more about Modern Basics II on the Martingale blog. Giveaway open worldwide and a winner will be chosen on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013.


Congrats to #29, Lisa Marie!

Craft Book Month: The Sewing Rabbit + Sewing Mama RaeAnna

Happy Tuesday! I’m so excited to share two more projects from the Craft Book Month 2013 blog hop . . . have you decided what book you’ll be crafting from for this year’s contest?

First up is Jess of The Sewing Rabbit. When I heard about the new book Skirt-a-Day Sewing by Nicole Smith (Storey), I recommended it to my friend Jess. Not only does she always whip up the cutest outfits, but she is one of the only people I know who is ambitious enough to actually sew a skirt a day! If you are not already familiar with Jess’s blog, be sure to head over and sign up for her newsletter, filled with lots of tutorials, news and giveaways.


Hop over to The Sewing Rabbit to see more of Jess’s faves from the book!




When RaeAnna told me she was making a project from the book Sewing for Boys (Wiley), I was super excited. This is a book I’ll definitely need to own someday, with a little boy on the way this winter! The authors Shelly and Karen are also the sweetest gals ever, and I was able to interview them a couple years back for our very first Craft Book Month. RaeAnna didn’t even need to buy any new fabric for this top . . . she upcycled two maternity shirts to get the look!


Head over to Sewing Mama RaeAnna to see the Raglan Tee in action!


Want to join us and sew along for Craft Book Month 2013?
Also, check out the Craft Book Month Prizes!

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