The Creation of a New Book

October 10th, 2009

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!!!

Fall Colors in Alaska

September 21st, 2009

My beloved and I have lived in Alaska for 27 years, and we hadn’t to this point taken the time to train trip to Fairbanks. Visitors have raved about the trip, but our schedules have never allowed for it.

We decided, at the last minute, to take a quick trip north to visit our son who has just moved to Fairbanks to begin school at UAF. What a gorgeous trip! The leaves are in full color – for Alaska, which means various shades of gold with a bit of orange. The sun was shining and our “little” boy was waiting at the other end.

I would recommend the train ride for anyone who comes to visit our fine state.

Summer is Flying By!

August 21st, 2009

The days continue to fly past. This summer I was fortunate enough to spend most of the month of June in Alaska. We have enjoyed one of the most beautiful summers that I remember.

July was a different story, with only 5 days of the month at home. I will have to spend some time in my flower garden before it goes totally to weeds.

The lowly fireweed creates one of the most spectacular summer displays you might see in Alaska. The flowers are a deep magenta. During the mid to late summer weeks, you can see entire hillsides blanketed in purple.

Fireweed is also one of the harbingers of the coming winter. When these beautiful flowers start going to seed, I know that my summer is coming to an end.

This not so lovely photo was taken while walking my dogs. It is time to consider locating the heavy coats, mittens and boots that we will need soon.

Label Label Label

August 15th, 2009

I am a firm believer in labeling quilts. After a quilt top is completed, I take a quick digital photo of the top. Nothing fancy – just a quick shot.

The next step is to transfer that image to my computer. The image is then cropped to just the quilt image. The resulting image is resized to fit an 8 1/2″ x 11″ page.

The image is imported into a word document, and a white circle is drawn on top of it.

All of the text that I want to appear on the label is typed onto the circle at this time.

This label is printed onto a prepared fabric using my inkjet printer.

This fabric label is attached to the quilt backing before the quilt is layered and quilted. The quilting securely attaches the label to the quilt. My quilt will be permanently labeled with my name, all information to allow for quilt return if being displayed, or all care instructions if the quilt will be gifted.

Sewing Like a Crazy Girl

August 6th, 2009

August is upon us and I have to get some sewing done if I ever want to have a new book finished by the time of Fall Quilt Market. Market is in Houston Oct 10-12. So if my beloved long arm quilter is going to have time to quilt my projects, I have to hurry right along.

The new book will be titled Strip Therapy 4 – Bali Pop Frenzy. I have been working on the patterns since April. Due to my schedule I have been waiting for a break in action so I can begin sewing. I have had the pleasure of spending the past few days retreating with friends, sewing like a fiend. What fun! Good food, lots of laughs and 4 quilt tops being sewn together when I am not eating or laughing too hard. The two remaining quilt tops will be completed in the next week.

This quick snap is the cover quilt from Strip Therapy 4. More about this lovely photo job a bit later.

It’s Show Time!

July 13th, 2009

The “Brenda Movie” is in the can. At least my part of the filming process. The video is on the way back to Bonnie’s office for production. Three days of video taping for a 1 – 2 hour dvd. I’ll keep you posted and let you know when the dvd is available.

No Rest for the Wicked…or is that Weary?

July 9th, 2009

After disembarking from the wonderful cruise, I immediately jumped into another project. A friend and I are filming DVDs this week in sunny Seattle. We will soon be stars of stage and screen. Okay, that is pushing it, but within a few short months I will be the smiling star of a quilting DVD that focuses on paper foundation pieced mariner’s compass construction.

The divine Ms M – aka Melody Crust, has been taping with Bonnie McCaffery for the last 3 days. I am up tomorrow. How exciting!

Quilt Camp at Sea

July 5th, 2009

I had the privilege of teaching on a cruise ship to Alaska for Quilt Camp at Sea. What a treat! My beloved hubby joined me as we sailed into the sunset. The ladies in class had a terrific time creating their own mariner’s compass blocks.

Cruising is a great way to sample bits of Alaska. My husband and I especially enjoyed Juneau. We took the path less traveled – a side street near downtown – and saw a bear cub! Being the sourdough Alaskans that we are, we quickly left the area for fear of the wrath of a cranky mama bear.

Santa Clara Valley Quilters Guild

June 25th, 2009

Well, I am finally back at work. This week I flew to California to teach for the Santa Clara Valley Quilters Guild. We had a wonderful time. The ladies created a beautiful selection of mariner’s compass blocks. Gifts arrived in the form of chocolate! What an unexpected treat! Thank you Sue.

Wonderful Alaskan Summer

June 15th, 2009

While recovering from the joys of hosting a wedding, my husband and I spent a few days traveling around Alaska. Showing off our fine state to family members. This has been a record breaking beautiful summer.
We were able to thoroughly enjoy the scenery from the comfort of a boat. We made appointments with a few whales and even some Stellar sea lions so they would make an appearance and wow our out of state guest.