Tag Archive for craft book

Pre-Cut Patchwork Party Author Q&A + Giveaway!

Today, we’re excited to welcome craft book author Elaine Schmidt to chat more about the process of writing her recent book Pre-Cut Patchwork Party: Projects to Sew and Craft with Fabric Strips, Squares, and Fat Quarters.

Don’t forget to leave a comment after the post for your chance to win a copy of the book!

 

Elaine, welcome to Craft Book Month! What’s your favorite pre-cut to sew with, and why?

I love them all and find them handy in so many ways, but I really like the 2 1/2″ width-of-fabric strips that many manufacturer’s sell as “jelly rolls” or “designer rolls”. They can be easily cut into squares or rectangles for piecing. They are perfect for quilt-as-you-go projects where you sew the strips directly to the batting and backing. (Quick way to make a placemat!) And I love using them for straight grain quilt bindings. Because all the fabric prints coordinate, yet every strip is different, you can make a quilt binding that has an eclectic mix and match look.

Can you tell me a little bit about the process of writing a sewing book?

Once you have an idea for a book, you need to approach a publisher with a proposal. Submission guidelines are on their websites so make sure to follow them in presenting your ideas. If your book proposal is accepted, a contract will be drafted for you and the publisher to sign. This contract will list everything you are required to do and a timeline of deadlines along the way.

Make sure you understand everything and discuss with the publishers any concerns or questions you may have. Also, allow enough time to work on the book! Whenever I start a book, I always think I have plenty of time to get it all done in the time allotted. But, I have found that it always takes me longer to work out designs, get all the instructions written, source supplies, and do photography if that is included than I thought it would at the beginning of the process. Depending on the book, I like to allow at least 6 months to finish everything.

When writing a book for Creative Publishing, I am given three deadlines to meet. The first is for the “dummy material”, which includes the working contents list, a manuscript for one chapter of each section of the book, step-out samples or photographs to accompany the manuscript and an art log of images for what has been written to this point. The second deadline is for one-third of the manuscript with samples or photos and an art log. And the third deadline is for the final manuscript, complete with all samples and art work and the final art log.

That’s so interesting, Elaine! How did writing this book compare or differ to writing your last book, The Complete Photo Guide to Ribbon Crafts?

Pre-Cut Patchwork Party is a project-based sewing book. Each project is an original design focusing on using pre-cut fabrics. Detailed instructions were written for each project. Step-out samples of each construction step had to be made so they could be photographed to accompany the instructions.

The Complete Photo Guide to Ribbon Crafts includes a few projects, but mostly it is focused on various ribbon techniques with suggestions on how the techniques can be incorporated into a project. It was part of a series of “Complete Guides” and gives an overview of working with ribbons like making various styles of bows, creating ribbon flowers and trims, making hair accessories, sewing with ribbons, paper crafting with ribbon, etc. So those were the main differences.

You seem to stay busy with many different aspects of the crafting business other than just writing books. How does your work with designing products, writing for magazines and TV appearances complement your role as a craft book author?

It all works together because everything I do involves things I love to do: sew, create with fabric and thread, and work with embellishments–the “fun stuff”, like ribbons, buttons and beads. I have great working relationships with many fabric, ribbon and embellishment manufacturers and work with them to create projects that showcase their products in the best light. Cross-marketing is very important for both the manufacturers and the retailers who carry their products. I am careful when working with any companies who are competing for the same business, and I align myself up with those manufacturers who offer beautiful, quality products.

What is one thing that would surprise most people about being a professional crafter?

I don’t think it is a surprise to anyone that you will have to work hard to be successful. And, you do not do this type of work because you want to make lots of money. You do it because you love the techniques, the products and the joy of sharing with others the excitement of making something truly unique and personal. There is no greater joy than making something with your own two hands, especially in this high tech world. Crafting and sewing are a form of self expression and bring balance to our busy lives.

I have been lucky that every job I have held has led me to the next and has been an important influence on my work today. One of my first jobs was in a retail buying office. From that, I understand what buyers consider when making decisions about the products they will carry in their stores. I have also worked as an employee for manufacturers who make products for the sewing/crafting market. From that, I understand the importance of filling the needs of the consumer with new and inspiring products, as well as the challenges faced in bringing those products to market. I have also done a great deal of marketing, education and promotion work to both retail buyers and the end consumer. All that experience and those points of view help me to understand the full picture. But, most importantly, I am the consumer. My vocation is my avocation.

Do you have any tips for helping others grow their own creative business?

The best way to grow your business is to find you passion, which is what you are good at and what makes your heart sing. Then develop yourself as a brand and work on several streams of income, like writing books and tutorials, selling products and completed projects online, licensing your designs to manufacturers, selling at local and national art shows and fairs, etc. You’ll have to wear a lot of hats, but it can be very rewarding . . . and you’ll be doing what you love to do every day.

Giveaway!

Creative Publishing International is generously offering a copy of Elaine’s book Pre-Cut Patchwork Party to one reader! To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment on this post telling us one thing you learned about craft book publishing from our interview with Elaine. Good luck!

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

Craft Book Proposals: Q&A with Casey York

Today, we’re excited to introduce Casey York, a Craft Buds reader and an up-and-coming craft book author! If you have an interest in seeing your creative work published, you’ll love the blog series Casey has created along with Stash Books to demystify the process of getting published.

Read on to get to know Casey and to learn more about crafting your own book proposal.

Casey, congratulations on your book proposal being accepted! How did you first get interested in writing a craft book, and what did that proposal process look like for you?

Thank you—I am over the moon excited! As cliché as it sounds, I think I’ve always wanted to write books. I come from an academic background so publishing has been part of my job description for a while now, and when I decided to pursue a career in the quilting and textile industry it was a natural transition to thinking about writing craft books. Also, I am an inveterate book reader and collector, and I found the quilting books on the market so inspiring that I soon found myself wanting to create one of my own.

I started developing a proposal early this year and I went to QuiltCon right in the middle of the process, which turned out to be a lucky move. I was able to meet Amy Marson and Roxane Cerda, the publisher and acquisitions editor of Stash Books, as well as Allison Rosen, who is in charge of their online presence. After QuiltCon, I followed up with a query letter to Roxane (which is a step I recommend for any readers considering proposing a book). That query led to a proposal, which led to another proposal, which was accepted!

Do you have any tips for someone else who is wanting to submit a craft book proposal?

First, do your research on the publisher(s) you plan to submit to. I approached the proposal writing process as if I were applying for a job—you want to demonstrate that your idea is a good fit for a particular publisher, and in order to do that you have to do your homework.

You also will want to explain how your proposed book will stand out in the marketplace. How is your idea unique and what will make consumers want to buy your book? I think the process of answering this question can actually help you to develop your ideas, and I kept it in mind from the very beginning of compiling my proposal and designing my projects. Also, be flexible. Publishers know their industry well, so if they give you advice on how to tweak your idea, take it.

Finally, polish your writing. Your proposal or query letter will be the first impression you make and you want it to be a good one. Publishers are looking at your writing skills in addition to your designs, and your proposal will serve as one sample of your writing, so revise your work a few times to make sure it represents you the way you want it to.

I saw on the Stash Books blog that you’ll be sharing more about the process of writing your book in a blog series. Can you tell us more about that and what we can look forward to?

Yes! I feel like there is a great deal of interest in craft publishing right now; when I attended the panel on book publishing at QuiltCon, the room was full and there were lots of questions from the audience. Yet, at least for me, the publishing process remains a bit mysterious. I thought a blog series might be a good way to shed some light on the entire process of craft book publishing for readers who might be interested in writing their own books one day.

One of the aspects of the Crafting a Book series that I am most excited about is that the Stash Books blog will be featuring posts written by my editors and others who are involved in producing the book on their end, so I think between our two blogs readers will get a well-rounded idea of what goes on behind the scenes. I know I’m excited to read about the process from the editors’ points of view.

Together, our two blogs will feature monthly posts about particular aspects of the publishing process, starting with the proposal. Some of the topics I’m going to address are the first steps after a proposal is accepted, the process of creating the projects and writing the instructions, and the process of designing the book.

Read the about Casey’s book proposal from the perspective of an author and an editor.

Casey, what’s next for you?

Right now I’m in the thick of making the projects for the book—my deadline for having them done is early this October! I’ve also been working on publishing and printing my latest stand-alone pattern, Punctual, and promoting my line with individual stores and distributors. A big personal goal is to make it to Quilt Market in Houston this fall. I went to Market in the spring of 2012 and it was a fantastic experience. There are so many areas of this industry that I would like to be a part of, and Market is a great opportunity to learn more about them and get inspired!

You can follow Casey: Casey’s blog | Casey’s portfolio | Twitter

For more advice on writing a craft book proposal:

Does Your Craft Book Proposal Stand Out?
How to Write a Craft Book Proposal

Craft Book Proposal: How to Get an Editor’s Attention

Giveaway! ‘Creative Thursday’ Books

If you need some handmade business inspiration to keep your New Year’s goals in check, you’ll love the book “Creative Thursday” by Marisa Anne. Check out the video trailer for a sneak peek at what’s inside the book, and enter to win one of two copies, courtesy of Fabric Seeds, below!

creative thursday book trailer from Marisa Anne on Vimeo.

Giveaway!

Want to win one of two copies of this great book? Leave a comment on this post telling us about one creative goal you have for yourself, whether that’s to learn a new skill or to improve your current craft. We’ll choose two random winners on Sunday, 3/24.

Congrats to our winners, Louise and Domenica!

Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe

Book Cover: Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe

My friend Jennifer at Ellison Lane Quilts recently sent me a review copy of the book Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe. She has a quilt included in the book, along with some other great quilting bloggers!

TOC: Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe

This book has 19 quilts from different contributors, which means it is wonderfully diverse. Some quilts are minimalistic in design and others use many blocks. Some quilts show off solids and others are heavy with prints. What ties them all together is the love of quilting and blogging that is shared by each of the designers.

Spotted Stones: Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe

“Everything’s Coming Up Rainbows” is a quilt by Krista Fleckenstein of Spotted Stones. I got the chance to meet Krista briefly at QuiltCon, and she is lovely! I love her modern take on a bento box quilt block.

Olive + Ollie: Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe

Heather Jones of Olive and Ollie shares the pattern for her “Silo” quilt in this book, which offers a really beautiful use of solids and repetition across the quilt. What a lovely project!

Freshly Pieced: Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe

Lee Heinrich of Freshly Pieced is the designer behind “Candy Necklace,” a pattern that would look really beautiful in solids or monochromatic prints. I’m really drawn to the vertical orientation of this quilt, and how it appears to be not really “blocks” but strips.

I’m a huge fan of collaborative sewing and quilting books, because they allow a group of contributors to join forces and share their very best work! If you follow many quilting blogs, you may have seen some of these quilts already on the Web; however, I don’t believe I’ve seen them with the full patterns. There are several quilts in this book I would consider making.

Back: Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe

In fact, my only real criticism of the book is that it reminded me of something. It made me realize how prone we all are (myself included) to view and refer to well-known quilting bloggers “stars.” I certainly respect the hard work it takes to design a quilt, write the pattern and maintain a regular blog presence in the midst of the rest of life! Quilting and blogging have become two of my greatest passions in life, and I can let hours and hours go by without noticing what time it is when I become lost in a project.

However, one thing I’ve learned from meeting some blog friends in real life is that people are just people! They are real… they have struggles. They have joys. There are some incredibly talented designers that have never had their pattern published in a book or magazine. They have never displayed their quilt in a show. I’d love to challenge the idea that having a popular blog with lots of comments makes someone a star.

Quilters are some of the nicest, most genuine people on the planet! I don’t wish to take away any joy from the quilters featured in this book or those who put it together, because I myself love the feeling of sending a project off the be published. It’s exhilarating! However, I was recently reminded how beautiful life can be when we realize that there is room at the table for all of us. You are right where you are supposed to be. It’s not about competition, or who is “in” and who is out.

If quilting becomes about winning a ribbon, what is it good for? If making becomes about seeking attention or watching the “Likes” build up, what is the point?

What brings us together, creative bloggers, is a shared love for creating. That’s it. That is why I love this online community! I hope to be reminded of these things when I forget them myself.

Thank you to Martingale & Company for putting together this beautiful collection of quilts. With 19 patterns in versatile designs, Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe is a welcome addition to my bookshelf!

Ellison Lane Quilts: Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe

Giveaway!

Want to win a copy of Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe?

Head over to Ellison Lane Quilts (that’s her quilt in the book, above!) by Sunday, 3/17 for your chance to win a hard copy of the book. Giveaway open to U.S. residents only.

Modern Designs for Classic Quilts + Giveaway!

Today, we are continuing the fun of Craft Book Month with a Q&A from two authors of a modern quilting book that you are going to love! Kelly Biscopink and Andrea Johnson are co-authors of the new release Modern Designs for Classic Quilts: 12 Traditionally Inspired Patterns Made New (F+W Media). We are thrilled to help them kick of the blog tour of their book, which begins today.

Ladies, congratulations on the release of your new quilting book! How did you both meet, and can you tell me a little bit about your blogging and how that played a role?

Andie: I work at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in the Bone Marrow Transplant unit. Kelly works at the College of Charleston’s Sottile Theatre. The two of us met through the Cincinnati Modern Quilt Guild and became fast friends. It was just one of those instant connections!

We both have the same love of traditional quilts but are really excited about the modern scene that’s been booming over the last few years. We do have blogs (AndieJohnsonSews and Stitchy Quilt Stuff) and enjoy them as both a creative outlet and a way to expand our sewing circle of friends. Our blogs have given us a voice in the sewing community, and we love being connected to sewists and quilters all over the world.


Can you tell me a little bit about how you got this book idea off the ground?

We were at a sew-in event one Saturday and started talking about why we love quilting, and realized we both had very traditional quilting backgrounds but love the modern aesthetic. The idea for our book was born out of that conversation. A few weeks later over coffee, the book outline was nailed down and we started putting together a proposal. After a lot of back and forth and some crazy twists of fate, it was acquired through F+W Media.

Were there any surprises along the way when it came to the work that goes into writing a book?

Shockingly, the surprises were few. We worked so well with each other, and our editors and our publishing company staff were great at guiding us through each step.

Andie: As far as the projects go – creating pieces that I thought would be scrutinized by quilters who bought the book introduced a tiny sliver of self-doubt. I’m used to creating what I want when I want to please me, so when going through this, I put a lot of pressure on myself, which kinda sucked some of the joy out of the process. But overall, it was a pretty amazing experience.

Kelly: Coming from an editorial background, it was fascinating being on the “other side” of the writing process. I had no idea how personal this book would be, how much I would agonize over it. I also can’t even tell you how surprisingly emotional it was to see the book for the first time!

Do you have any advice for someone looking to write a craft book? What lessons have you learned along the way?

Concept is everything. We happened to have an idea that was timely and on trend with what’s going on in the quilting community. We both have experience in writing patterns and we’re been quilting and sewing for years, so we felt confident that we could execute the design, patterns and writing of the book. Also, it really helped that we knew people in the industry.  If you have a great concept with lots of project ideas and can provide examples of your work, submit to a publisher! You never know what can happen.

Blog Tour!

Monday, 11/5    Andie & Kelly, AndieJohnsonSews & Stitchy Quilt Stuff
Tuesday, 11/6    Lindsay of CraftBuds
Wednesday, 11/7    Jill of Darling Jill Quilts
Thursday, 11/8    Faith of Fresh Lemons
Friday, 11/9    Tracy of Generation Q
Saturday, 11/10    Angela of Quilting is my Therapy
Sunday, 11/11   Shannon of Stitch Craft Create
Monday, 11/12   Laurie of Scarlet Fig
Tuesday, 11/13   Kaysie of KZJo’s Studio
Wednesday, 11/14   Jessica of A Little Gray
Thursday, 11/15   Mary of The Tulip Patch
Friday, 11/16    Deborah of Whipstitch
Saturday, 11/17   Lindsay of  The Cottage Mama
Sunday, 11/18    Jenny of Sew Kind of Wonderful
Monday, 11/19   Carla of LollyQuiltz
Tuesday, 11/20   Thomas of Thomas Knauer Sews
Wednesday, 11/21   Brenda of Pink Castle Fabrics
Thursday, 11/22   Lindsay & Liz Rea of CraftBuds Inspire Me Grey
Friday, 11/23   Sarah of The Last Piece
Saturday, 11/24    Andie & Kelly, AndieJohnsonSews & Stitchy Quilt Stuff
Cara of Cara Quilts

We’ll be back later this month with a book review and a sneak peek at Elizabeth‘s project from the book. If you haven’t taken a look at this book yet, it is gorgeous and the ideal project book for your next sew along!

Giveaway!

F+W Media is generously giving away a copy of Modern Designs for Classic Quilts to one lucky Craft Buds reader! Leave a comment below for your chance to win. For your comment, you can tell us your favorite “traditional” quilt block or pattern. Also, let us know if you might be interested in a sew along for the book. Sounds fun, right?! ;)

We’ll choose one random winner next Monday, November 12, 2012.

Congrats to our winner, #205 Sherri Noel!

Author Talk: “Improv Sewing” + Giveaway!

Today, we are thrilled to have special guests Nicole Blum and Debra Immergut, authors of Improv Sewing: A Freeform Approach to Creative Techniques! Read on for an informative Q&A on what it takes to write a craft book, and leave a comment to win a copy of their book.

Can you tell me how you met and started blogging together?

We met at Family Fun Magazine where Debra is an editor and I am a freelance crafter and stylist. We collaborated on many features and knew we worked well together. Our blog came about after we started writing Improv Sewing – an idea initiated by Debra who likes to tell how she would often see me coming in with boxes of crafts wearing something I had stitched. Debra thought she might not be the only one who would want to learn how to make clothes for themselves so asked if I would like to pitch a sewing book with her. Well, yes ma’am, I did. Improv Diary is our shared space for talking about creativity and making lovely things, as well as a few other random ideas.

With a background in creative publishing, it seems a natural fit that you would work together to write a book. How did you go about the process of pitching the book proposal to a publisher (or did it work the other way around)? Can you describe that process?

Yes, you are right, it was a natural fit. After we agreed that we wanted to pitch a sewing book, I stitched up a dozen or so things, Debra wrote a fantastic introduction and then laid out the photographed projects in such a nice way, it appeared we already had a book completed. After one false start with a publisher in New York we pitched the book to Storey Publishing. They are small but have had some great success in sewing books so we knew they would understand what we were trying to achieve. Furthermore, they are all about creative self-reliance and our concept fit right in with that. We were so fortunate to have a very quick response from them – waiting can be a killer – and they wanted it! They wanted it but wondered if we would be interested in increasing the size and breadth of the book from 30 clothing projects to 101 sewing projects that would span garment making to quick gifts. Despite that large number, we didn’t really hesitate – more projects definitely meant more work, but it also meant more fun.

Once the book deal was official, how did you divvy up the work of writing the book? With 101 projects, this surely took a great deal of time. What do you recall about those days of making the actual book projects?

Divvying up the work was a natural process – something that was obvious as we entered into the project’s first stages. We brainstormed a big list to get started with – obviously my clothing designs and other fun things I had designed over the years – and then we went to our respective corners for a while. I went to my studio where I designed, developed, stitched, and photographed and Debra started writing the core message of the book and introductions to the individual projects. As I finished developing things, I would send notes and images to Debra so she could write the instructions. In the early days, Debra was just learning to sew, which was perfect. I had to be thoughtful about the steps and process and if I was unclear or something didn’t make sense, she would catch it right away and ask all the right clarifying questions. Sometimes I had to re-develop something and sometimes I just need to explain the steps more clearly. As our deadline creeped closer, we began to meet more regularly to go over the directions, sew together, and draw up rough art to give to our illustrator. Those days feel like a while ago and I mostly remember sewing for very long stretches of time. I can safely say that Debra most likely remembers many late nights writing. Of course we wanted to projects to stand out and inspire people, but we also wanted the book to be a good read – I think we were successful.

Fast forward to the day you received a copy of the finished book in your hands. Can you describe your reaction, and any reflections on the process?

I will never forget the day that the guy delivered my ONE copy of the book (we’d have to wait a whole month before we’d see any more). It was wrapped in brown paper with a lovely piece of natural paper twine and a very kind note from our fantastic editor. My family gathered around and we looked at it and I had so many emotions and thoughts I couldn’t pin any one down. It had taken so much work and time to get to that place and then the book was in my hand – and it looked so beautiful to me!

What’s next for you both?

We have some ideas for another book that we have been tossing around, but for now, we have a lot of work to do to get the word out about this book and think we should dedicate our free time to doing just that.

Improv Sewing book cover

Free Projects

Storey Publishing was gracious to share two free projects from the book, including the:

Reverse applique t-shirt

Reverse applique ottoman cover

 

Giveaway!

Storey is giving away a copy of Improv Sewing to one lucky Craft Buds reader. To enter to win, just leave a comment on this post about something you’ve learned from this Q&A. Giveaway limited to North America. We’ll choose one random winner a week from today’s post!

Congrats to commenter #30, Samantha!

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 Author Emily Neuburger + Giveaway!

Today we are excited to have special guest Emily Neuburger, author of the book Show Me a Story: 40 Craft Projects and Activities to Spark Children’s Storytelling. Emily is joining us to talk about her kids craft book as well as the writing process for her book. At the end of this post, you can also enter to win a copy of her book!

Emily Neuburger

Welcome to Craft Book Month, Emily! Can you tell me what you love about telling stories, and why it’s important?
I love making crafts that facilitate storytelling because it offers children (and adults) the chance to drift into imaginary worlds where anything is possible. I have always been a daydreamer – where twigs and dirt often became mountains and trees – and I am a firm believer in nurturing children’s natural inclination to spend time with their imaginations.  Storytelling is so healthy and good for children – it helps them practice communicating, it expands their emotional awareness, and it is often a way for them to experiment with problem solving.  And, um, it is also super fun!

This is a very unique book concept. How did you go about conveying your concept to a publisher and what did you learn?
I actually submitted a book proposal where storytelling crafts was only one of the chapters in the proposed book. The editor who I was working with suggested that I elaborate on just the storytelling chapter since it was so unique and vibrant.  The process of uncovering the heart and soul of my book served as a reminder to be willing to experiment with shifting the focus of a project.

Creative storytelling crafts - Red Bird Crafts

When it came time to write the book, what did your timeline look like, and how did you interact with the publisher?

The process was definitely lengthy with lots of different, distinct steps along the way. After signing on with Storey Publishing, I was given six months to write my manuscript. I checked in with my editor from time to time, but I mostly just curled up in my cozy chair and wrote. Once the manuscript was turned in, I shifted my focus to craft styling – and more craft styling and more craft styling. Then, there was the photo shoot, copy edits, proof edits, more proof edits, and then four months to wait before I saw my first printed and bound copy. The time frame from the time I wrote my proposal to the release date was approximately 3 years. I found the whole process rewarding and interesting.

And, now, I am excitedly preparing for my book tour! Hooray! In the coming months, I’ll be visiting book shops, craft spaces, and museums to share projects from the book.  I’m really looking forward to connecting with children and adults as they create; it will be fun and beautiful, and I can’t wait.

Scenes from Tell Me a Story

How would you compare the process of blogging about crafts on your blog Red Bird Crafts and actually compiling a book?
Honestly, writing blog posts and book chapters feels extremely satisfying and exciting for me! In the end, the two writing processes felt very similar because I approach my writing as an educator and an artist. I love to inspire people to be creative and to encourage them to have confidence in their art; both forms of writing offer me the chance to do just that.

Thanks for your insights into the book writing process! What’s next for you, Emily?
Thanks for asking! I have lots of exciting new projects and ideas coming together right now.  I’ll still be blogging at Red Bird Crafts, but in a few weeks I’ll also have a new website at EmilyNeuburger.com. The new site will showcase more of what I offer as a teacher – library and school visits, curriculum guides, and my local classes.  I’m very excited for launch day!

Show Me a Story book

Giveaway!

Storey Publishing is giving one lucky Craft Buds reader a copy of Emily’s new book, Show Me a Story. To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment on this post telling us something you learned from our Q&A with Emily. One random winner will be chosen in a week. Entries limited to North America.

Have you been hopping with us this week?

Sunday 9/9: Sweet Diesel Designsmissknitta’s studio
Monday 9/10: Sew TaraClover and Violet
Tuesday 9/11: Sew Fantasticamylouwho

Craft Book Month Prizes

Show us your craft book project from Sept 23-30 and win prizes!

Craft Book Month 2012 + Giveaway!

Do you love craft books? During the month of September, we are happy to host our 2nd Annual Craft Book Month featuring expert Q&As, a crafty contest, free patterns and lots of prizes!

Craft Book Month

This is going to be a *huge celebration* all things craft books. In fact, just look at the awesome guest bloggers who will be sharing their craft book projects in an inspirational blog hop all month long!

Blog Hop

Week One

Sunday 9/2: Hopeful Threads / The Jolly Jabber
Monday 9/3: Stitchery Dickory DockMe Sew Crazy
Tuesday 9/4: Olive & OllieSew Sweetness
Wednesday 9/5: Fabric SeedsThe Busy Bean
Thursday 9/6: CraftFoxesStitched In Color
Friday 9/7: Katie’s KornerA Prairie Sunrise

Week Two
Sunday 9/9: Sweet Diesel Designsmissknitta’s studio
Monday 9/10: Sew TaraClover and Violet
Tuesday 9/11: Sew Fantasticamylouwho
Wednesday 9/12: Projektownia JednoiglecTwo More Seconds
Thursday 9/13: Ellison Lane QuiltsDon’t Call Me Betsy
Friday 9/14: Live a Colorful LifeLRstitched

Week Three

Sunday 9/16: Fairy Face DesignsCanoe Ridge Creations
Monday 9/17: Inspire Me GreyFreshly Pieced
Tuesday 9/18: Lindsay SewsThe Cute Life
Wednesday 9/19: The Littlest ThistleSew Crafty Jess
Thursday 9/20: Urban Stitchesimagine gnats
Friday 9/21: Sew Bittersweet DesignsThe Plaid Scottie

Week Four
Link up your craft book project at Craft Buds from Sept 23-30 from your blog or Flickr account, and enter to win prizes. Winners will be announced on Monday, October, 1!

To participate in the month-long contest, just link up any project you’ve made from a pattern in a craft book. That easy! You’ll tell us a little about the book, the project, how you personalized it, etc.

Rules:

1) One entry per person.

2) Your craft book project must have been completed in 2012.

3) Create a new blog post or Flickr photo (dated September 1, 2012 or later) and link back to Craft Buds/Craft Book Month in your post or photo description.

No time to create a project? This month, just follow the Craft Buds blog and Comment to Win some new craft books and lots of giveaways! We’ll also have expert Q-and-As to show you what it takes to write a craft book, from the initial idea to the layout, photography and the actual printed product. We cannot wait to get this party started!

Prizes:

Visit Craft Buds and link up your craft book project during the window of Sept 23-30 and you’ll automatically be entered to win some fantastic prizes from our Craft Book Month sponsors! Click here for the full run-down of prizes and sponsors.

 

Kickoff Giveaway!

To help kick off the Craft Book Month contest in style, Fat Quarter Shop is helping us celebrate with a big giveaway! One winner will take home a $100 gift certificate to shop for some new fabric, craft books and notions.


Ten winners will get a new craft book to help work out that creativity! This is the perfect excuse to make that project you’ve had your eye one, but haven’t carved out the time for.

Fat Quarter Shop is giving away 1 copy each of Quilts from the House of Tula Pink by Tula Pink, Sewing ModKid Style by Patty Young, Skip the Borders by Julie Herman, Stop Go Quilt Sew by Angela Yosten and Sunday Morning Quilts by Amanda Jean Nyberg and Cheryl Arkison.

Craft Buds is giving away 1 copy each of Modern Basics by Amy Ellis, Reinvention by Maya Donenfeld, We Make Dolls! by Jenny Doh, New Dimensions in Bead and Wire Jewelry by Margot Potter and More Teach Yourself VISUALLY Jewelry Making by Chris Franchetti Michaels.

Fill out the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to win! The kickoff giveaway ends Wednesday, 9/5 at 11:59 ET, when we’ll randomly choose 11 winners. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Craft Book Month at Craft Buds

Sponsors: Amanda Murphy DesignAngela Yosten PatternsCoats & ClarkFabric SeedsFat Quarter ShopFreeSpirit FabricsMartingale & Co.Moda United NotionsOLFAPellonRiley BlakeStash BooksStoreySUCH Designs /  WileyWorkmanZipit

Review: Improv Sewing + Giveaway

Improv Sewing book cover

Improv Sewing: A Freeform Approach to Creative Techniques is a new book from Storey Publishing filled with “101 fast, fun and fearless projects” to sew and love. The sheer number of projects is enough to get excited over, but the variety of techniques (from upcycling to reverse applique) is a huge bonus.

Improv Sewing book table of contents

Authors Nicole Blum and Debra Immergut show off 101 sewing projects in the same style of those on their blog that are suited for beginners and intermediate sewists. The freestyle approach to sewing includes appliqued and stitched motifs, based on simple designs, several of which require no pattern pieces. Many also feature recycled and upcycled materials. Projects in the book include embellished dresses, tunics, scarves, skirts, accessories, pillows, curtains and more.

Improv Sewing ruffled dress

The “Ruffled Dressy Dress” is a cute and comfy dress pattern embellished with texture, but there are several variations on this concept, including a simple two-piece shift dress. With clothing for women, men and kids, the book offers a diverse variety of patterns.

Improv Sewing rainbow mobile

Feeling the need for some home decor? The “All-Weather Applique Mobile” pairs bright fabrics with whimsical shapes and machine embroidery, for a darling project that would suit a nursery or creative space.

Improv Sewing fused plastic wallet

The authors of Improv Sewing have a definite bent toward upcycling, and many of their projects show how to use free or inexpensive materials in a new way. This “Fused Plastic Wallet” has decorative stitching and is sized perfectly to slip your cash and a few credit cards inside.

Improv Sewing Reverse Applique Tee

This men’s reverse-applique tee is simple and stylish, with an organic design embellished on the lower front of the shirt. Kids and beginning sewists can learn this technique of reverse applique and hand-stitching to make clothing, accessories and home decor.

Free Projects

Storey Publishing was gracious to share two free projects from the book, including the:

Reverse applique t-shirt

Reverse applique ottoman cover

Giveaway!

Would you like to win a copy of Improv Sewing? Just leave a comment on this post to be entered to win. We’ll choose one random winner on Wednesday, July 4, 2012. Check out the rest of the Improv Sewing blog tour at:

June 29: http://unanimouscraft.com/
July 10: http://www.craftfoxes.com/

Congrats to our giveaway winner, commenter #52 Fenna, who said: “Cool book! I like upcycling stuff–it’s a great way to re-use!”

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