Monday, October 19, 2015

What I've learned about writing a quilt book...

On friday, I saw my book in print for the very first time. This is the LAST round of edits and corrections and I have a few thoughts about the process...

In 2013, I got the wild notion that I could write a book about quilting. I had an idea that I hadn't seen explored by anyone else on the market. I love love love scrap quilts. Actually, the more fabrics a quilt has in it, the more I love it! It's not a choice, I just came pre-wired that way I suppose. Honestly, I can't explain it.

So anyway, I decided to explore this idea of writing a book. First I went online to the different publishing websites and read all about the process for each publisher. There is no lack of information, that's for sure. Each publisher has their own set up and process and they are all unique. Each publisher has a list of items they require for their book proposal process. I knew ahead of time who I wanted to publish my book (or so I thought.) I sent them my proposal and they said they were interested. They asked me if I would be at Quilt Market and I said "Sure!".

So I started planning a trip to Pittsburgh for Quilt Market. In the mean time, I researched what Quilt Market is all about and tried to learn as much as I could. I learned that I had a lot to learn. So with that in my mind, I headed off to Quilt Market all by myself with my book proposal and the mission to "Learn as much as I can" about this quilting industry and how it works.

I had a blast at Quilt Market! I met and mingled with some quilt rock stars (in my opinion) and I got hugs from all of the wonderful people that had published my quilts in their magazines. I even got to see two of my quilts hanging in the booths of those publishers.  I also met with the publisher that I had sent my proposal to. It was very interesting. I learned a whole lot. I was told that my idea was great but my quilts needed to be tweaked. I was told I needed to use 'fewer fabrics' (didn't they notice it was a book about SCRAP quilts?) I was also told I needed to make my quilts more modern by adding wide open spaces to them. (Again, how many scraps can you use if your quilt is wide open?)

I learned things I didn't expect to learn. I chose not to make any decisions right then and there. I also decided to go ahead and visit each publishing booth at market. As I got to know folks, I learned that each publisher has a different approach, and a different philosophy, about how their business works. I learned that maybe, just maybe, the publisher that I really wanted to publish my books wasn't the publisher for me.

One of the folks I met was a lovely lady at C&T. Her name is Ruth Mary. Easy for my to remember because my best friend's name is Mary Ruth. Cool huh? Anyway, she said some things to me that really resonated. Things yourself and don't change your style because nobody can be better at being you than you. If you love something and are passionate about it, your work will show it. I loved that lady. I would have taken her home if I could have. I need to be reminded of that kind of philosophy on a regular basis.

So I went home and I spent one month thinking things over. I knew in my heart what I needed to do immediately, but I wanted to make sure I was making the smart decision, not just an impulsive one. I submitted my book proposal to C&T and they said yes! Woohoo! They liked my idea, they liked my quilts, they liked the whole concept of how I planned to share my ideas and quilts.

Then I very quickly learned that I knew NOTHING about actually writing a book. I printed out the 72 page email they sent with the the 'author guidelines'. Seriously, 72 pages. I memorized that thing I read it so many times! Then the real work began...

To be continued...

PS. Don't forget to enter the giveaway from Firday's post, I'll announce a winner tomorrow.


  1. Good for you for not caving into changing your quilts! I am so excited about your book!

    1. Thank you so much Kelly! For some reason your comments are not reaching my inbox. I have quite a few commenters that happens with so I'm going to try harder to check comments here more regularly. The cyber universe is such a mystery...

  2. OK, waiting for the next installment...and your new book!

  3. Fingers crossed for your book !! I'm very happy for you !! :)

  4. Enjoyed your post today. It's always interesting to learn the behind the scenes story of things we take for granted. It must be wonderfully exciting to see all your hard work on the printed page. I'll be waiting for the next part of the story.

  5. Interesting. Thanks for enlightening us. Yipes, 72 pages?!

  6. Love the quilt in this post! I can see your sense of design in the tumbler sashing? So very, very glad that you didn't cave to the demand to make your quilts more 'modern'. It's crazy important to be yourself and love what you do or otherwise what is the point. To make money? Looking forward to your new book!


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