Friday, September 21, 2012

And the answer is....

In the Meadow. Applique mostly done, ready for embellishment.
I've been working away on the new book. My working title was "Hand Applique by Machine Gets Embellished". The Wash Away Sheets have opened so many new doors for embellishing. I'm finding myself drawn into hand embroidery, beading, and yes, machine embellishments as well.

Choosing threads. These are all Kreinik threads. Yummy!
It seemed only natural that I would want to work on a new book towards that goal. So, I put in a proposal to my publisher to see if they would like it. Waiting for a response from a publisher can feel like an eternity. So I just kept working on the projects and the writing.
Considering beads for his face and buttons.
As usual, I sucked all the joy out of it by giving myself a crazy deadline, totally self imposed and completely stupid. I found myself almost hoping they would turn down the proposal. Not because I didn't like the topic, but because I really need some unstructured play time. While working on a new class sample (more on that soon), I rediscovered how much I love pulling fabric from my own stash without the worry of being "commercial". I even found myself wanting to shop for fabric, something that hasn't interested me in years.
The answer came yesterday. It was a "no thank you". More like a "not quite right". At first I was terribly disappointed, after all no one likes to be rejected. But it's not the first time that others have rejected my ideas, it took seven years of badgering to find a manufacturer for the Wash Away Sheets.
That's not to say that every idea I have is a great one, not even good sometimes. But it didn't take me very long to get over my disappointment. The more I thought about it, the happier I became. I have finally gotten what I have been searching for: time to play.  Oh, I still have deadlines, workshops to prepare for, articles to write and quilts to make for magazines. I hope those never end.
No on the beads, too regularly shaped. French knots it is.
Now I have choices. The acquisition editor made suggestions as to where I should go next. She thought I should consider doing a series of seasonal quilts combining piecing and applique. Okay, that's cool, and it's pretty much what I've done most of my life. (It killed me to have to leave applique out of the samples for the piecing book about to come out.) But I already know how to do that. I've already published three project books, two of which have sold out.

My obligations to the publisher have been met, leaving me free to offer the book to another publisher, or even publish it myself. That's not to say that I haven't enjoyed working for them, not at all. It's been a terrific experience. Self publishing is just so much more lucrative, I do all the work so I get all the profit. (Also, I take all the risk that there might not be enough sales to cover the printing costs.)
In the Meadow. Finishes about 16" x 20". Machine applique, hand embroidered, machine quilted.
 So, the sky's the limit. I have time now to catch my breath and explore new avenues. I'll be checking out pricing on books done print on demand. The technology has changed so much since I last self published in 2002. Or perhaps I want to offer the designs as patterns, maybe even downloadable patterns. Whatever comes next, I'm excited to see what shakes out.

Sometimes "no" is just the right answer.



  1. Beautiful! I love the snowman and the fantastic silver thread quilting!

  2. Love it Beth! It would make a great companion to a snowman quilt I designed...and I love that your snowflakes are actually 6 sides, drives me nuts when pattern or fabric ones have 8 sides!

  3. It's darling! I'd love to have the pattern. Hope it's available soon.