Tag Archive for quilt book

Cultural Fusion Quilts: Q&A with Sujata Shah + Giveaway!

It’s been a little while since Craft Book Month, but throughout the year, we like to keep in touch with authors who are celebrating new releases! This time, we are here with Sujata Shah, author of the new book Cultural Fusion Quilts: A Melting Pot of Piecing Traditions 15 Free-Form Block Projects (C&T Publishing).

Let’s take a look at how Sujata came to write this inspiring book, and learn more about what she’s got up her sleeve next! Don’t forget to leave a comment at the end for your chance to win a copy of her new book.

Sujata Shah

Sujata, can you tell us the story of how your decided to take your ideas on world-culture-inspired quilts and write a book?

Up until 2002, I made quilts with traditional blocks. They were precise, perfect and different than what I knew as quilts. Back in India we called them Godharis. When I saw the quilts of Gee’s bend, my focus shifted from making every quilt perfect to “just make quilts.” For the first time, I connected my roots and quilting. The Quilts of Gee’s Bend were simple, utilitarian quilts made for everyday life, from everyday materials, the same as Godharis from India. I discovered a connection between the two cultures.

During the past 29 years of life in this country, I have had many opportunities to live in different cities and meet people from around the world. Many trips to import stores and arts and crafts fairs also led to my fascinations with distant places. It is easy to find the same geometric patterns in woven baskets as well as in prints and patterns seen in textiles and quilts. Basic traditional quilt blocks are not limited to quilts, but they are also found on walls and windows of forts and palaces in India. Although, there are several books written based on the influence of specific cultures on quilting, my ideas changed from time to time with each piece of inspiration. Objects that had nothing to do with my background or heritage would remind me of places and things from home.

My process became more about the shapes, forms and textures than fabric and traditional patterns. Although not new, I felt there was a place for this concept in modern quilting.

Cultural Fusion Quilts

How does your childhood growing up in India influence your quilting designs today? What about your family’s current home in Pennsylvania?

It is next to impossible to escape colors when you are in India. If you were born and raised there like me, colors are going to stay with you for rest of your life. At least that is how I see it. Whether it is the kite festival with thousands of colorful kites in the sky or the festival of colors celebrated in early spring, or the festival of lights to celebrate the new year with bright and colorful new clothes, Indians know how to live in colors. Whether it was six yards of beautiful print in a sari or the streamers made from fabrics over the walkway to a temple, woven fabrics or beautiful silks, colors and prints were part of my daily life. I think it has everything to do with how I design my quilts. I generally shy away from defining myself as one kind of quilter and move from scrap quilts to simple and bold quilts. But it would be very difficult to limit myself with choices. I love experimenting with colors. I find the best color inspirations and accidental surprises from the floor of my messy sewing room.

My current home in Pennsylvania is painted with neutral tones. I believe that the grey tones gives the best background for my colorful quilts. I have quilts hanging in every room, hallway and nook of the house. The oldest quilts and a few textiles from India adorn the walls of my home. I also like to decorate with arts and crafts from India and some from around the world. Some are bought from import chain stores. I surround myself with things that inspire me. Sometimes they are as simple as rocks, pebbles and plants.

Cultural Fusion Quilts

What do you love about piecing a quilt from free-form techniques?

With traditional quilting, most of the times during the design process, I start seeing the final result way before the quilt is made. Once that happens, I lose interest in finishing that project.

I am usually drawn to textures, patterns, imperfections and irregularities of handmade crafts. As much as I like traditional quilts, the accuracy required in cutting and piecing a quilt top is unappealing. After seeing the quilts of Gee’s bend and experimenting with free-form blocks, every step of the quilt-making process has been exciting. To me, free-form blocks are like ever-changing colors of sunrise or sunset. They keep me engaged till the last stitch.

Cultural Fusion Quilts

What was the most surprising or challenging part of the book-writing process for you? The most rewarding part?

Well, I realized writing a book is not as easy as making the quilts. I could come up with 10 different ideas while I was working on one quilt. To break down every step that comes naturally to you is a very difficult process. To learn the technical aspect of writing a book was hard. Having said that, I knew I had something different to offer to the quilting world. I wanted my blog readers and other quilters to feel same excitement as I was feeling when making the quilts.

For a girl who never wanted to sew, who learned English as fourth language in school, publishing a book at age 51 is a great sense of accomplishment. Hearing all the quilters from around the world and how excited they are to read the book makes up for all those challenging times.

 

unnamed
Tuesday December 2 Sujata Shah @ C&T Publishing
Wednesday December 3 LeeAnn Decker @ Nifty Quilts
Thursday December 4 Victoria Gertenbach @ The Silly Boodilly
Friday December 5 Rachaeldaisy @ Blue Mountain Daisy
Saturday December 6 Lori Dejarnett @ Humble Quilts
Sunday December 7 Casey York @ The Studiolo
Monday December 8 Malka Dubrawsky @ A Stitch in Dye
Tuesday December 9 Sherri Lynn Wood @ daintytime
Wednesday December10 Bonnie Hunter @ Quiltville’s Quips and Snips
Thursday December 11 Jake Finch @ Generation Q
Friday December 12 Jan Burgwinkle @ Be*mused
Saturday December 13 Janet Treen @ Quiltsalott
Sunday December 14 Lindsay Conner @ Craft Buds

Giveaway!

Would you like to win a copy of the book Cultural Fusion Quilts? For your chance to win, leave a comment on this post and tell us what country or world culture inspires you, or just somewhere you dream of visiting! We’ll pick a winner one week from the date of this post. (U.S. winner will receive a hard copy of the book and non-U.S. winner will receive an e-book.) Good luck!

Book Review: Modern Designs for Classic Quilts

Today, we are excited to have a guest post from Elizabeth, with a review of the book Modern Designs for Classic Quilts. Take it away Elizabeth!

Happy Thanksgiving Craft Buds friends! I’m Elizabeth from Inspire Me Grey, and on this day of traditions and celebrations, it seems like the perfect time for a little review of the new quilting book Modern Designs for Classic Quilts by Kelly Biscopink and Andrea Johnson. With this book, Kelly and Andie celebrate traditional quilt designs by giving them new twists in modern fabrics, layouts and creative designs.

Full disclosure: This in no way affects my feelings about the book, but Kelly is a friend of mine – like, a real-life friend and not just a blogland friend. We go way back – to birth, really. Her parents are my godparents, and Kelly and I overlapped a couple of years at the same university. It was fantastic to discover that we have quilting in common, and I’m thrilled to review her (and Andie’s) book for Craft Buds.

So back to the review. I really like the “hook” of this book. Some quilting books are just patterns and projects with no common thread to really hold them together. What makes this one special is the connection of classic designs done in new ways. Kelly and Andie take things like flying geese, coins, hexagons and Dresden plates and do some really cool things with them. They also provide a great primer on basic techniques, including this split-screen of how they each handle matching straight seams differently. (No pretending that everyone does it all one way here! Yes, you have options!)

My personal favorites (and recent additions to my “must make” list) include this spotty kaleidoscope pattern and Andie’s Midtown Girl:

I took the book with me on vacation last week and my mom picked these Dresden plates as her faves:

Full disclosure: Elizabeth is a real-life friend of mine, and she is not kidding about this book. I’ve also take a look, and this has to be one of my favorite quilting books of the year. Love the quilts, fabric, patterns, illustrations . . . It’s a must have!

Hop over to Elizabeth’s blog to see a quilt-in-progress from the book.

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

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: 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.!

From Blog to Book Deal: Q&A with Jessica Levitt

Please welcome Jessica Levitt to Craft Buds! Jessica is a first-time author of a new book about modern quilting. You may have also read her popular blog, Juicy Bits, where she shows of quilted creations and her fabric lines.

The book is titled Modern Mix: 16 Sewing Projects that Combine Designer Prints & Solid Fabrics (Stash / C&T Publishing) and includes 7 quilt projects plus 7 Quilts + pillows, bags and gifts.

Jessica Levitt

Jessica, you must be thrilled to see your first book in print. Was this the fulfillment of a long-standing dream, or something that just transpired over time?

Yes, I’m absolutely thrilled, but funny enough, it was never my dream in life to write a book. In fact, in school I kinda hated writing. I was never bad at it, but it wasn’t my thing and I have a degree in engineering so I didn’t have to do that much in college. But when I started my blog, all that changed. I love writing there because I can write like I’m having a conversation with my readers. And it’s so rewarding to be able to share all the work, that I would do anyway, with the world. So, now I’m hooked. And the idea of making beautiful projects and having a real, live, printed book in my hand that I wrote is amazing. I can’t wait until I see some of the projects people make from my patterns!

Pebble Road Quilt

Can you tell us about the process of pitching your book? How did you go about choosing your theme and communicating that vision to a publisher?

Certainly. The theme of my book was pretty obvious to me since I love modern quilts and sewing projects that use solid fabrics. I wanted to show readers many different ways to use them in their projects while still enjoying their favorite prints. Although quilting is my first sewing love, I knew I didn’t want a book that was only quilts because I love variety. I think it’s nice to have a cohesive theme that neatly ties all the projects together and makes your book different from all the general sewing books out there, but I do know it’s not 100% necessary. If you simply have a distinct style of your own, that can be enough.

When it came to pitching the idea to a publisher, I treated it a bit like a book report. I know every author does a totally different type of proposal, so this is just one approach, but it is important to know the publisher’s guidelines. For mine, I wrote a summary introduction of the book concept. I had the potential projects already divided into chapters. I completed one full quilt top (the one that ended up on the cover) and wrote out the full directions for it, including illustrations to show that I was capable of writing clearly. For the other projects I included computer sketches or pictures of similar previous work that I had done with a short description. The publisher had a couple of questionnaires to fill out, and I also included a small photographic portfolio of my work to give them an idea of my style and potential.

I sent all this information in as a hard copy, but I think many publishers prefer them electronically now. Then it becomes a waiting game. In the end, they didn’t want to include every project I pitched and I was free to alter some as needed, so the final book didn’t look just like the proposal. For some projects, they even asked for more information, like fabric selections, etc.

I was reading about your trip to quilt market when you pitched your fabric line Timber to several manufacturers, and you said it was a bit nerve-wracking. Did you feel that way with the book as well?

Honestly, not really. That’s because I didn’t have to pitch it cold to a bunch of publishers. In fact, my publisher, Stash Books, an imprint of C&T, approached me. Their acquisitions editor noticed my blog and asked if I was interested in writing a book. I probably wouldn’t have done it if she hadn’t made me think of the idea. So I met with her when I was at quilt market and talked about the process, and when I was finally ready, I submitted only to her. And don’t think I’m super-special or anything. They ask plenty of designers for submissions and then can choose from amongst those. A blog is a great way to get known and also to direct them back somewhere when you do submit a proposal.

I know that it often takes more than a year to publish a book. What parts of the process were you most involved with, and what has the waiting game been like?

Yes, it seems to take forever. I did the bulk of the writing and sewing last summer so it does feel like along time ago. Obviously I was most involved in the writing and sewing. I had more that 6 months to do that all that, but it’s never enough time! I think next time I’ll probably do more projects up front before I even submit a proposal, so there is less work to do. It made for a crazy, busy summer. After I sent in all the projects and text, then the editing begins. Stash is excellent at reviewing the text and illustrations to make sure they are both clear and easy to follow, and technically accurate. There are several rounds of edits, and for each one, we went back and forth, making it the best book possible. At the same time, they take the photos and start the design. I had input into both processes. Basically I gave them guidelines and lots of examples of my vision for the book. But they took it from there and did the photos and design on their own. Finally I requested changes or reshoots as necessary. It’s so cool to see the basic Word document turned into a pretty picture book, but waiting for your advance copy is torture!

Modern Mix Book

Can you tell me about one of your favorite projects in the book, and how you came up with the idea?

That’s a tough one. I get inspiration from anywhere and everywhere.

The cover quilt, called Pebble Road, actually came the from the quilting idea first. I love round “pebble” quilting like that. I wanted to make a really big quilt (it’s king size!) that had a lot of impact but that was relatively easy to piece, so I got the idea to do a stripe of circles that really pop. I love the bright Kaffe Fassat fabrics with the grey background.

Another favorite is the Diamond Strands quilt. For that one I wanted to feature large pieces of large-scale print fabrics, so I made them into vertical stripes. And, I’m usually not one to use templates, but I loved the idea of diamond shapes rather than squares because it’s more unusual.

There are also a lot of fun smaller projects. I love bags, and in this book the Essentials Bag is one of my favorite. It’s a great size for carrying a wallet and a few other essentials. I wanted something that came together relatively easy and was a fun showcase for some print fabrics.

Modern Mix bag

Do you have any advice for an aspiring author or fabric designer?

Oh boy, if someone has the answer to balance, I want to hear it. I struggle with that constantly, but when I get it right, it can be so rewarding. I guess my advice it that you don’t have to rush into anything. Figure out what your goals are, and then give yourself some time to get there. I took my time submitting a book proposal, waiting until I was ready to make it a real priority, and I’m so glad I did. I want to make sure I get enough time with my kids as they’re growing up, so that means sometimes passing up on a work opportunity. But I can’t say enough good things about blogging. Sometimes it can be a chore and I neglect it (like this summer), but it has helped me so much. There is a ton of inspiration out there as a reader, and if you get a decent following, it can open you up to a lot of opportunities. To get yourself more known, my advice is to offer something for free. I’m not talking just giveaways, but patterns, etc., that people will keep coming back to. And devote some time to communicating with other bloggers.

 

Giveaway!

Stash Books is generously giving away a copy of the book Modern Mix to one lucky Craft Buds reader. Leave a comment with something you learned from this interview for a chance to win. We’ll pick one winner on Friday, September 30th. If located outside the U.S., winner will receive an eBook. This giveaway is now closed, congrats to #23, Jenelle!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...