Tag Archive for craft books

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!


Giveaway!

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!

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

Giveaway!

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: 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: Stitch This + Stitched in Color

Have you decided yet what project you’ll make for Craft Book Month 2013? Today we’ve got two more inspirational projects from the blog hop!

Karen, managing editor at Martingale & Co., shares a quilt she made for her niece Emily at the Stitch This! blog. It’s a pattern from Amy Ellis’s book Modern Basics II, and we love the story behind her color choices!

 

Check out more pics and fun quilting tips at Stitch This!

 

Our friend Rachel at Stitched in Color is also sharing a recent quilt finish, inspired by the Gumdrops project in Sunday Morning Quilts by Cheryl Arkison and Amanda Jean Nyberg for Stash Books. This is just a sneak peek . . .

 

Click over to Stitched in Color for the full reveal!

Craft Book Month 2013!

It’s time for the 3rd Annual Craft Book Month at Craft Buds! This year, we’re excited to celebrate all month log with a blog hop of your inspirational craft book projects, a crafty contest, free patterns and prizes!

Craft Book Month

Don’t let those craft books sit on your shelf and collect dust! We want to see what you’ve been making. That’s why we’ve lined up a list of fabulous bloggers who will be showing off their projects made from craft books, all month long!

 

Blog Hop

Week One
Monday 9/2: Fabric MuttLRstitched
Tuesday 9/3: Stitch This! The Martingale Blog / Stitched in Color
Wednesday 9/4: Fabric Seeds / Pile O Fabric
Thursday 9/5: The Feisty Redhead / Rae Gun Ramblings
Friday 9/6: Sew-Fantastic / Clover & Violet
Saturday 9/7: A Prairie Sunrise / Small Town Stitcher

Week Two
Monday 9/9: Hopeful Threads / Go To Sew
Tuesday 9/10: The Sewing Rabbit / Sewing Mama RaeAnna
Wednesday 9/11: Marci Girl Designs / imagine gnats
Thursday 9/12: Sew Sweetness / amylouwhosews
Friday 9/13: Lindsay Sews / 13 Spools
Saturday 9/14: Inspire Me Grey / Angela Yosten

Week Three
Monday 9/16: Sew Very / Craftside
Tuesday 9/17: The Littlest Thistle / CraftFoxes

9/1-9/30: Link up your craft book project at Craft Buds from your blog or Flickr account, and enter to win prizes. Winners will be announced on Tuesday, October, 1!

2012 Craft Book Month Projects (L to R): Sew Crafty Jess, Sewing Rabbit, Stitched in Color, MissKnitta’s Studio

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 2013.
3) Create a new blog post or Flickr photo (dated September 1, 2013 or later) and link back to
Craft Buds/Craft Book Month in your post or photo description. In your post or photo description, make sure to list the craft book you used and provide a link if possible.
4) All winners chosen via Random.org. Some prizes available to international winners, so please join us!

Prizes

Visit Craft Buds and link up your craft book project during the window of Sept 1-30 and you’ll automatically be entered to win some fantastic prizes from our Craft Book Month sponsors!

Sponsors: Andrews McMeel / Chronicle Books / Clover + Violet / Coats + Clark / CraftFoxes / Emmaline Bags / Fabric Seeds / Fat Quarter Shop / Go To Patterns / imagine gnats / Martingale / Lark Crafts / Owl & Drum / Potter Craft / Quayside Publishing / The Sewing Rabbit / Stash Books / Storey Publishing

** We’ll be updating this page with more info on prizes and sponsors. This is also where you can link up your projects, starting any time in September! **

 

Craft Book Month at Craft Buds

Craft Book Marketing: Arsenal Pulp Press + Giveaway!

Today we are happy to welcome Cynara Geissler, Marketing Manager for Arsenal Pulp Press! A Canadian-based publisher that’s relatively new to the craft books scene (the first craft title released in 2009), Arsenal Pulp Press is a specialty craft publisher with titles that stand out as edgy or subversive.

Read on for a glimpse at how a marketing team goes about promoting your favorite craft books!

Cynara, welcome to Craft Book Month! Can you tell me a little bit about how you entered the craft publishing business and how Arsenal Pulp Press came to be?

Arsenal was founded in 1971 as Pulp Press and published push-the-envelope literary fiction and irreverent pamphlets. Publisher Brian Lam took over the company in 1992 and broadened the scope to fiction/non-fiction, cookbooks, art books, and visual and cultural studies titles.

The first craft book we acquired at Arsenal Pulp Press was Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti by Mandy Moore and Leanne Prain. Leanne Prain (a graphic artist, writer, knitter, and crafter) conceived of the title as part of a book-publishing simulation project in Simon Fraser University’s Master of Publishing Program. Our associate publisher, Robert Ballantyne, attended the book project presentations and was impressed with Leanne and her (then hypothetical) book on knit graffiti.

Because Yarn Bombing has a strong civic/social dimension (the streets serve as the gallery and the art becomes public) and is quite playful in tone and content, it stood out as a good fit for Arsenal. Leanne brought Mandy Moore into the project, who is well-known in the knitting community, and it worked out perfectly. That was our gateway into the glamorous world of craft book publishing.

Wow, so your first craft book author was actually “discovered” while working on a classroom project. Can you tell me more about where you work? What does a typical work day look like for you?

There are five of us in our office, which is open-concept, so it’s easy to communicate with one another. If I were to take a snapshot of my physical work area right now you’d see a two desks (arranged in an L) covered in files and post-it notes. If you were to zoom in on my computer, you’d note that I have an inadvisable amount of tabs open in both Firefox and Chrome. I’ve also got Excel spreadsheets, Google docs and various InDesign files on the go. If my computer were the Enterprise, Montgomery Scott would probably be yelling at me that I’ve “pushed her as far as she can go,” and that we have “a shortage of dilithium crystals!” right about now.

When I arrive, the first thing I do is read my email (but if I’m being honest, I actually read it all the time: the blessing/curse of smart phone ownership). I respond to media requests for things like book covers, excerpts, interviews and media copies of books. If we have a large review copy mailing going out that day, I try and tackle it early in the day so it’s all ready to go when our mail pick-up arrives.

A typical day in Arsenal’s marketing department involves everything from:

– Editing/creating media lists
– Meetings or phone calls with authors
– Pitching and following up with media about our books
– Speaking with bookstores/venues (to set up events)
– Designing/creating press kits
– Writing event listings and invitations
– Sending out tweets and setting up facebook events
– Posting review copies or awards submissions

(You were all picturing me smoking a cigar, barking orders to interns, and pulling whiskey out of a drawer, before heading off to a booze-soaked book launch followed by a cocktail party on a yacht, right?)

Publicity, as I am sure most publicists will tell you, expands infinitely (like the universe). There is always more that can be done.

“Yarn Boming” book promo, blogged at The New Yorker

That’s quite a list of duties. About how long before a book’s release does a publicist start thinking about creative ways to promote the book?

We think carefully about a book’s audience/community from the acquisition stage, when we’re deciding if the book is right for Arsenal. Our craft books are rich community objects. We’re attracted to books that grow out of craft and artistic communities and speak with and belong to those communities as well. Both Yarn Bombing and Hoopla are books that collect, explore and showcase the work of a vibrant community of artists, creators, crafters and makers: They include patterns and profiles from a wide range of fabric and textile artists from all over the globe.

I usually meet with authors quite early in the publication process (when the book is still in editorial, so months and months before it will be a real, spiney book),  especially if we’re going to be planning a tour. We talk about the book launch and events, tabling/speaking opportunities, who should receive review copies, contest ideas, book-related swag.

I’m a one-woman marketing department on most of our titles, so it’s always the best when I can be a tightly-knit publicity tag team with our authors.

Hoopla book

What are some examples of ways that you might use online or traditional marketing to promote books vs. non-traditional or relationship marketing?

In terms of traditional marketing we send out review copies to media, take out print/digital ads and we also produce print and digital catalogues in fall and spring which get sent out to libraries, bookstores and the media. We have all of our titles available for direct order on our website and we also maintain a blog, YouTube channel, Twitter account, Flickr stream, and Facebook page. We have monthly e-newsletter. It’s always ideal when our authors have a strong web presence as well.

I think of publicity as what Shannon Emerson at Canada Wide Media refers to as “being in all spaces: online, in print and in person.” You want to create as many opportunities for a reader to discover a book as possible.

Those sound like wise words. So, can you explain how that all plays out?

In Person: For Hoopla we did a multi-city author tour. Because the books are visual and the subject is tactile/about creating Leanne’s in-person events included a slideshow and a craft for people to create as part of the event. For Hoopla, Leanne gocco-printed hoops with a design from the book and we did buttons with subversive embroidery sayings like “Crewel Intentions” and “Boss of Floss” for giveaways at events and book fairs as well as buttons for craft bags and jean jackets. Leanne is very active in the craft/art community she leads (and continues to lead) crafting/embroidery workshops; coordinates knit nights and /craft meet-ups (some of which result in certain public structures sporting unsolicited sweaters). She also attends/presents/tables at craft shows like Vancouver’s Mini Maker Faire.

In Print: With craft books you are less likely to receive “traditional” book review coverage, so we pitched the book for trend pieces, profiles, interviews, Q & As and excerpts.

Online: We (myself, Leanne, and the wonderful contributors) spread the word about the book through our websites, Twitter, Facebook and blogs as well as forums like Ravelry. Global and local craft communities were very supportive with letting us post about upcoming events, hosting giveaways and offering pattern downloads to spread the word about Hoopla. When Leanne brought the Yarn Bombing book to us she was already connected, engaged, and involved with the craft community. She built on those connections through the process of writing her books (and interviewing artists) and the websites for Hoopla and Yarn Bombing and also tweets about crafts, graphic design, and art from her twitter account @LeannePrain.

Hoopla author Leanne Prain signing books, blogged at Unanimous Craft

What do you appreciate most about your job and/or working in the craft publishing industry? Can you tell us the most challenging part of the job?

I deeply value my brilliant colleagues, our talented authors and the brave books we publish at Arsenal. We publish books that challenge, incite and provoke, books that take risks and trouble and subvert norms. I feel lucky to be surrounded by so many creative, professional and intelligent people.

It can be tough–and, to be frank–kind of heartbreaking when a book doesn’t catch on. You have all the ingredients for a success: clever and original content, smart and thoughtful design, an intelligent, charming and energetic author. All that and a dedicated publishing house, and for whatever reason (the sheer number of pitches, bookings being published and books already out there in the wild?) people take a pass.

A bestseller or breakaway is about the book being great (which you can control), but also luck: which you can try to harness by bottling lightning, stroking pink rabbit’s feet, or . . . well, ultimately that part is quite out of your control.

Thanks for the vivid glimpse into your career and craft book marketing, Cynara! You can visit the Arsenal Pulp Press blog or check them out on Twitter or Facebook.

 

Giveaway!

Today, Arsenal Pulp Press is giving away a copy of the book Hoopla: The Art of Unexpected Embroidery to one lucky Craft Buds reader.

To enter to win, leave a comment on this post telling us something you’ve learned from our Q&A with Cynara. We’ll choose one random winner in a week. (Giveaway limited to North America.)

Congrats to commenter #9, Nicole G!

And remember, you can still enter to win:

Beginner’s Guide to Free-Motion Quilting (ends 9/12)

FreeSpirit Designer Solids fabric (ends 9/14)


Craft Book Month Blog Hop: Week in Review + Giveaway!

Let’s see what our friends have been making this week on the Craft Book Month blog hop!

Sunday, 9/2

Kristy at Hopeful Threads

Kristy @ Hopeful Threads

Jolly Jabber

The Jolly Jabber

Monday, 9/3

Me Sew Crazy

Jessica @ Me Sew Crazy

Patchwork hot pad

Amy @ Stitchery Dickory Dock

Tuesday, 9/4

Tula Pink Pillow

Sara @ Sew Sweetness

Olive and Ollie

Heather @ Olive and Ollie

Wednesday, 9/5

Knit Socks The Busy Bean

Colleen @ The Busy Bean

Patchwork quilt top at Fabric Seeds

Sarah @ Fabric Seeds

Thursday, 9/6

Stitched in Color

Rachel @ Stitched in Color

Improv Sewing skirt

Bethany @ CraftFoxes

Friday, 9/7

Birthday Board Simple Home

A Prairie Sunrise

Dare to Be Square Bunny Rabbit

Katie’s Korner

 

FreeSpirit Fridays Giveaway!

Visit this blog hop links this week, then tell us in the form below which of these statements is FALSE.

a) Hopeful Threads has a chevron blog header.
b) The Jolly Jabber has a pink blog header.
c) Me Sew Crazy has children on her blog header.
d) Stitchery Dickory Dock has a clock on her blog header.
e) Sew Sweetness has hexagons on her blog header.
f) Olive and Ollie has craft books for a blog header.
g) The Busy Bean has roses on her blog header.
h) Fabric Seeds has triangles on her blog header.
i) Stitched in Color has a patchwork quilt blog header.
j) CraftFoxes has a fox in the blog header.
k) A Prairie Sunrise has a sunrise in her blog header.
l) Katie’s Korner has a bench in her blog header.

 

FreeSpirit Designer Solids

Answer correctly, and you’ll be entered to win this mega fabric bundle from FreeSpirit (1 fat quarter bundle, 1 design roll and 2 charm packs of FreeSpirit Designer solids)! We’ll choose one winner a week from today’s post, and you can play again on our next FreeSpirit Fridays, 9/14 and 9/21.