Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Moving things along

It's a little frustrating, having lost five years of blog posts. So much of what I have to write about are continuations of stories started months, even years, ago. So now I'm feeling a little like the Discovery channel, or HGTV, where they spend half of the time reminding us about what we just saw. Really? If we can't remember what we saw just before the commercial break, then clearly we have other problems to address.

So now, with the blog situation being what it is, with each post I have to decide how much to backlog. I still have all the pictures, I'm thinking that I'll do a series of posts, catching us up to the present day over a few posts. For long time followers (I love you for that), I hope you'll forgive the repeated content. For newbies (welcome!), you'll have the background stories that were lost.

Today, I'd like to catch us up on the progress of the new book. It started last summer. Three days after we hosted Caleb and Elaine's wedding here (alas, another story lost), I began serious work on my next book with C&T. In order to have the book debut at Fall Quilt market in 2012, I chose a rediculously soon deadline: November 1, 2011. That gave me exactly three months to write all the words, take all the layout sample pictures and make all of the projects, several of which were bed sized quilts. Oh, and spend twenty-three of those 92 days on teaching trips. Luckily I wasn't starting from scratch, it was on a topic I've been teaching for years.

The most fun part was pulling fabric for the projects. Some came from my stash (woo hoo!) and some was generously provided by fabric manufacturers.

Throughout the process, being organized was the thing that saved my life. Each project was assigned one of my beloved artbins. In each bin I kept a copy of the pattern so I could make modifications and corrections as I worked. I made the samples for the step outs along with making the quilt. And scraps were stored in the bin until I was sure that I had all the step out samples I needed from that fabric.

Here's the set up that I used to take the pictures. We canibalized a clamp-on swing arm lamp, removing all the electrical parts. My brilliant hubby created a small metal angle fixture to hold the camera, (which is not in the picture, it's in my hand, taking the picture). The light is clamped in place, and uses a trumpet bulb designed for photography. Whoa baby, is it bright!

The least fun part was all the background paperwork that goes with writing a book. When I self published my first few books I could start with the raw parts and photograph each step as I completed it. When working with a publisher, a separate sample was required for each step. Oy vey! But worse than that, each sample needed to be bagged and labled, and entered into a log so everyone knew what was what. This ring binder was my master reference, including text, projects and image and project logs. It saved my sanity, such as it is.

At last, everything was packaged and ready to go. Each sample bag contains the fabric sample and also any special tool that was used in the process. To help keep the slippery bags in order,  all the samples for each chapter were placed in yet another, bigger, bag. I totally love zip top bags for keeping things in order. They are one of my favorite quilting tools.

The scary part came next. The product of three months of intense work was packed up and shipped to California. The quilts had been sent earlier, and had arrived just fine, so I tried to hold on to that success as I dropped the boxes off at the shipper. They arrived without a hitch. And then I waited for the next step, which I'll save for the next post.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for taking the time to blog. I check it everyday and feel like I know you. You are so dedicated to your craft. Kudos to you!