Thursday, January 21, 2016

Love for HST

I've been under the weather in the past few days and the improv blocks stay as they were last week.   By noon time today, I felt much better so I stepped into my sewing room.  A friend's baby girl just turned one year old and I want make a baby quilt for her.  This young family just moved into our area less than a year ago. 

I've been fascinated by Half Square Triangle, HST in short, design for sometimes.  It's a very simple block but so versatile.  There are many different designs out there and I like them all.  And I have just perfect charm pack for it too.

I love the bright and happy colors of these 5 inch charm squares and they will look great with white.  I have bought some white fabric some time ago and have no idea from what company it's from.  After I have fabric on the shelves for awhile, I can't seem to remember who the designer is.  If any of you have a good tip on documenting your stash, please let me know.  

After several hours of pairing the squares, sewing them together, cut them apart and squaring them up again, I got this.

Ha ha, just kidding.  This is probably the hardest part of making HST blocks.  So much trimming to do. 

With a stack of HST blocks in hands, I started to play with them.  I put them in many different ways but I liked this one the best. 

I'll leave them on my design wall over night.  If I still like them tomorrow, I'll sew them together. 

Have a great week every one.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

New fabric for first project of 2016

These are some of online purchases that I made on Black Friday Sale.  I usually support my local quilt shops, but this time I couldn't resist the sale.  I must say it can be addictive and harmful to my pocket book.  Aren't they awesome though?  

Our Valley Modern Quilt Guild has a new challenge - Highlight Yellow. We have to make something that includes Highlight Yellow into the design.  I put together the fabric that I want to use and here they are.

I started with 

(1) 9" square from each print fabric
(1) 9" square of Highlight Yellow and 
(3) 9" square of Kona Snow

Three hours later, I came up with these 8 1/2" blocks.

I love improv piecing and had a lot of fun making these blocks.  I  think the Highlight Yellow looks really good among blacks and whites.  I'm going to make a throw size quilt, so I'll need 42 blocks.  Five down, 37 more to go!!  Next week, I'll try curve piecing and add it into the mix.

What is your fun project for the new year?  Whatever you do I hope you're having a great time.  

Don't forget to visit back here on Feb. 1st.  It's my second Blogiversary and there will be some cool giveaways.  Don't miss out.

Have a great week!!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Happy New Year, Everyone!

So, it's happening.  I just received the news that my book will be going to press next week and hopefully, will come out in March, as scheduled.  I don't know what words I can use to describe my feelings right now.  Two years ago, this whole thing was like a distant dream to me.  And now that it's becoming a reality, I am at a loss for words.  All I know is that this book couldn't have been possible without the support and encouragement from my family.   They are the best!!

Let me share a few things about what I've experienced in the past two years with you.  Here we go...

January 2014, I started thinking about publishing a book.  The idea came after the Quilt Life magazine published a small article on the two quilts that I made.  I've never written a book proposal before, and the whole process was overwhelming to me.  So, I did some research and read a lot of books on the subject, but none of them talked about proposal for craft books.  Most of them were either about fiction or non-fiction books.  

What helped me was Google.  I googled 'how to write a craft book proposal' and what really caught my eyes were these two sites.

At that time, there weren't many blogs or websites about this topic, but these two sites really helped me a lot.  Time has changed.  Now there are many sources of information that are really good. If you're thinking about writing a book proposal, I strongly recommend you seek out and read as much as you can.

Next, I got the AQS book proposal guidelines and used that as my main lead on what to put into my proposal.  I dove in and started working.  They didn't want just a story about my ideas, they wanted to see actual quilts.  They wanted to see the whole layout of the book, the proposed table of contents, the illustrations and sketches of all the projects.  I made 2 sample projects, wrote step by step instructions and made patterns for them.  By June 2014, after numerous revisions and lots of help with my English from family and friends, the proposal was done and I was ready to submit. 

After the submission, I waited.  That was the hardest time for me.  I didn't know what to expect, so I kept myself busy with other things.  Back in January, the executive book editor, whom I was talking to at the time, recommended that I get involved in social media.  I only had my Facebook account for a few months then and didn't know anything about blogging.  Again, I jumped in head first and started blogging.  My first post was on February 1st.  Now look, I'll be in my third year next month.  What a journey it has been!

One day in July, I got a phone call.  This phone call had changed my life.  It was Elaine Brelsford, the Executive book editor on the line.  She wanted to personally congratulate me and tell me that they accepted my book proposal and that a contract was on its way.  The contract was that the AQS agreed to publish a booklet and the deadline for the manuscript was on May 5, 2015.  After I hung up, I called my husband right away to share the good news.  Then I sat down quietly, thanked my Heavenly Father, and dwelt in my own thoughts.  I was floating in the air for about 3-4 weeks then the reality hit.  Yikes! I had to start making all those projects which, in most part, were just sketches on graph papers.  I ordered some fabric and got to work.  From September to November, I was sewing and working on the manuscript like mad.  At the same time, I took pictures each step along the way for illustrations, made patterns, and wrote the instructions.  In December, I didn't do a thing because I was stuck on a couple of the projects.  I had to work out some design issues that I had.  Mid January 2015, I started sewing again.  After finishing everything, I sent them all off to the AQS in March.   

After that I took a couple of trips to Thailand for family matters.  When I came back in late July, the reality of an actual book was still so far away.  Then in September, I got a notice from the AQS about my complimentary copies.  What??  I suddenly realized that they are publishing my book and they are sending me my free copies.  I went on the AQS website and saw this.

Then I went to the Amazon and saw this.

I was floored to see the cover of my book for the first time!  "I think they are actually printing my book after all", I yelled out to my husband.  It turned out that they decided to publish a bigger book.  It's not a booklet any more.  Sweet!!  I got to see the proofs and go through the editing process last month.  I can hardly wait to have it in my hands.  

I'm excited to share about the book and projects in the future posts.  The main focus of the book is a new technique for making rag quilts.  Whether you've made a rag quilt before or not, I hope this book will entice you enough to try it.   Rag quilts in this book are unlike anything you've seen before.  I hope this book will inspire you to make an unusual rag quilt that you can be proud to gift it to someone you love and care about.  

Thanks for letting me share this exhilarating experience with you all.  I wish you all Happiness and Good Health for the new year!!