Do you have problems with your sewing machine or serger sliding around on the table while you work? I do! I even broke a water glass the other day because it fell off my sewing table while my work station was bumping all around.
Every so often at Craft Buds, we like to feature an indie pattern designer who is working toward making their crafty dream a reality. When I met Rachael Gander, I immediately knew that she had both the talent and the drive to turn her hobbies of sewing, blogging and graphic design into an actual business.
It gives me great joy to share the news that Rachael is expanding her successful PDF pattern business into a run of print patterns! Read more below about how you can support Rachael’s handmade business while also scoring some great goodies for yourself.
Here’s what Rachael had to say about her indiegogo campaign!
Imagine gnats started as a little etsy shop, selling small sewn items to help support my family and also to give me a creative outlet in a corporate world. It’s come a long way in just five years… from a hobby to a full-time job. My love of sewing and design has grown as well, and now my own sewing patterns help and inspire others to create.
I am proud to have created patterns for garments that are easy to sew and easy to wear. Imagine gnats patterns feature classic silhouettes with a modern twist that incorporate clever details and practical techniques.
Currently, my patterns are all offered as printable PDFs. the money raised on indiegogo will help cover the costs of an initial run of paper patterns, which means sharing my designs with even more sewists and inspiring more people.
For the cost of one pattern, you can help me reach my goal AND be one of the first to get the printed pattern of your choice. for a little bit more, you can get a full set of imagine gnats printed patterns. plus, early bird specials offer even better deals for the first contributors!
My initial print run will include 500 each of my existing five garment patterns. all of the money raised will go directly to that effort. once patterns are printed, i begin the selling and distribution phase.
I would love for you to tweet, share on Facebook, e-mail your friends and family… anything that will get the word out. Every share helps and is so appreciated.
Let’s rally around Rachael and make sure her handmade dreams come true!
Would you like to win a set of 5 imagine gnats garment PDF patterns, including the Tumble Tee, Roly-Poly, Meridian for Kids, Meridian for Women, and Bess Top?
1. Just leave a comment on this post for a chance to win a complete set. 2. If you donate to Rachael’s campaign at any level, please leave a second comment for another chance to win! International entries welcome, and we’ll choose one winner on February 28 (through the end of the fundraising campaign)!
Congrats to commenter #58, Dana!
My sweet friend Lindsay from Lindsay Sews got her first book published and is doing a blog hop. I hope you guys have been following along. The book is amazing and has beautiful quilts in it. I met Lindsay at Sewing Summit a couple of years ago in her creative journey class.
On the design wall trying to randomize the prints.
Hello! I am Katy, better known as LethargicLass, and I am excited to be a part of this quilt along. I met Lindsay last fall at Sewing Summit, and I bought my copy of Modern Bee directly from her. Sadly, I didn’t think of asking her to sign it though lol. When Lindsay asked if I would like to be a part of this blog hop quilt along I was thrilled! I immediately started thinking of what I could make. I wanted to keep the look of the quilt, but without the size. I am a very slow quilt maker, and I knew I wouldn’t have the time. So I went small. Really small.
I drew my plan up in my trusty little graph book, and then attempted the math. Several times.
Finally I figured out that I needed to start with 2” centers and one inch borders to create my original block before cutting into fours.
I like to work at different stages of things at one time so I don’t get bored by something like a huge pile of trimming. You can see what I mean below.
I finally finished the pillow at 20”x20”. That is when I realised that my 20” pillow form was actually 18” lol
It most certainly isn’t perfect, but I love it Here is the backside. I used one of my favourite prints from Connecting Threads and I don’t have much left.
I hope you enjoyed seeing what I made, and I would love to know if anyone else attempts one this small :) Please check out the rest of the Mosaic Tiles Quilt Along!
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).
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.
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.)
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
It’s time to catch up on some more of the Craft Book Month 2013 blog hop! Today we have two apparel projects from some of my favorite bloggers.
First up is Ashley of The Feisty Redhead! She tackled a project that many sewists consider a right of passage, which is the blouse from Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing by Gretchen Hirsch (STC Craft). We love the microfloral print and trendy Peter Pan collar of this blouse.
Next up is Marissa of Rae Gun Ramblings. She took on the challenge of a sweatshirt refashion, inspired by the book Subversive Seamster by Melissa Alvarado (Taunton Press). She stumbled upon this gem of a book when a friend accidentally left it in her sewing room. Oops!
Hello, Craft Buds! Lindsay here, and I’m guest posting today on the Shannon Fabrics blog with a tutorial for this super-snuggly baby blanket!
Have you ever sewn with Cuddle Fabrics? Shannon’s Cuddle collection is the softest, silkiest fabric ever… similar to a minky fabric you’d find at many fabrics stores. I’ve really enjoyed sewing with them, and the timing couldn’t be more perfect. My husband and I are expecting our first baby this January!
We won’t know for a couple weeks if it’s a boy or a girl. But, I was dying to cut into this chevron print Cuddle fabric in baby pink. So, I just went for it, and opted for a neutral white on the other side! The ruffle binding is a navy blue jersey I had left over from a dress. So I went with a little blue and a little pink. I really love the color combo!
Want to make your own cute ruffle-edge baby blanket? You’ll need 3 yards of Cuddle fabric (1-1/2 yards each for the front and back), plus some jersey fabric for the ruffle. The finished blanket is 45″ x 45″, and I’m sharing the tutorial over on the Shannon Fabrics blog.
Shannon Fabrics is giving you the chance to win 3 yards of Cuddle fabric of your choice, which is enough to make your very own Cuddle blanket! To enter to win, just fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Entries open to U.S. Good luck!