Friday, October 30, 2009

It is never boring in "Brendaland"

At least, that is what my hubby would tell you! I took a few moments in September to order a long arm! The machine was delivered in multiple large boxes and today the sales rep arrived at my doorstep to set-up the new toy.

My sister-in-law, who has blanket permission to always say what she is thinking, asked me very sweetly, "Honey, when will you have time to do that?" Well, I am not sure. Frankly, the refrain from a country song has been running through my mind... "What was I thinking?"

Actually, I am thrilled! I purchased an A-1 Quilting Machine. After talking to many quilters in my travels, I am confident that I purchased the correct machine for me. With that said, I do expect to spend a good bit of time just learning how to quilt. Trust me, my beloved long arm quilter is in no danger of losing my business.

So, now on to the next question...can anyone tell me where to begin? I feel rather like I did after giving birth to our first child. I was in the hospital bed, our daughter was fed, burped, diaper changed and all I could think of was "Now what do I do?" I am capable of loading a quilt, and even keeping it rather square. I can make it go, and balance the tension to my liking. My hubby is now a trained long arm armorer - he can time it. Now what do I do to build skill.

Is there a dvd or book or something that I can do to become reasonably proficient? If you have some clue where I should begin, please feel free to educate me. Thanks in advance for your insight!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Creation of a New Book

After a flurry of activity, my latest book Strip Therapy 4, met me in Houston at Quilt Market. Many people ask, or wonder, how long it takes to put a book together. Well, due to the wonder of being self-published, this book took two months! A little longer than 2 months if you include the stolen moments when I drew up the designs and wrote the rough patterns.

The quilts were started while I was retreating with friends during the first week of August. The girls took pity on me and helped sew a few of the quilt tops. With their generous help, I was able to return home with 4 completed quilt tops. The completed tops were passed off to my beloved machine quilter who loaded them on her machine immediately.

While the remainder to the quilts were being quilted, I flew to California for a teaching engagement. The completed quilts were packed along so I could bind them during my down time. The remaining quilts were collected and bound after my return home.

My copy editor was proofing the manuscript while I was in California.

When all of the quilts were bound, my hubby built a new photography backdrop for the quilts so we could shoot the quilts inside. We are usually working in the driveway. Unfortunately, this time, we had rainy weather, so a day was spent collecting the stuff necessary to create the pin-able quilt wall.

With the digital photos in hand, I was able to complete the manuscript edits, drop in the quilt images, add the final touches to the book layout and send the file off to the print shop in Minnesota. The book was printed very quickly - due to great timing that was purely accidental - and delivered to my warehouse.

While the book was off to the printer, I went on another teaching run before going to Houston for Quilt Market.

While it is easy to say the book took two months to create, there is no way that I could have done this without the terrific, generous people that are willing to become a part of the whirlwind that seems to surround me. To them I say Thank You!!!