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Behind the Scenes: Writing Transfer Embellish Stitch

Behind the Scenes: Writing Transfer Embellish Stitch

I am so excited to share a behind-the-scenes look at our new book! My coauthor, Sarah Case, and I had so much fun designing the projects in this book. Transfer Embellish Stitch comes out in October and teaches hands-on surface design techniques to use with fabric. You will learn how to transfer a decorative motif to your sewing project with four different image-transfer methods: stencils, transfer paper, freezer paper, and fusible web. Then, you can add embellishments like paint, embroidery, and reverse appliqué, applique, and decolourant in various ways to complete your project. There are 16 mix-and-match sewing projects in the book, from wearables to fun, useful gifts for the home. I'm beyond excited for its release!

Transfer Embellish Stitch
Wall Art work-in-progress, the finished piece is in the book as an inspiration project.

Writing a book is a long, intense process! Our book saga started in the spring of 2014 when I exhibited at International Quilt Market in Pittsburgh. I was there to show my range of sewing patterns, plus a fabric collection with P&B Textiles, and I also had some projects in my booth that Sarah worked on with me. I was excited to talk with book publishers to share a concept for a book that had been brewing inspired by those projects!

Transfer Embellish Stitch
Transfer Embellish Stitch
A couple of the techniques used in the book: deColourant and applique.

First, Sarah and I wrote our proposal. We had an outline of project ideas and concepts that we wanted to write about in the book. We sketched and brainstormed a lot to tighten up our vision of what we really wanted the book to be about. Our primary goal for the book is that we wanted it to encourage people to experiment with sewing rather than to follow a strict set of rules. We shaped the format of the book around that concept, and designed projects that could be mixed and matched with a variety of decorative techniques, all which are explained in the book

Transfer Embellish Stitch
Proposal packet & initial concept sketches in progress

After we and the publisher (C&T Publishing / Stash Books) were all in agreement with the proposal and the outline for the book, the real fun (and hard work!) began! More sketching, experimenting, designing, coffee breaks, brainstorming, napping, color planning, sewing, and embroidering ensued.

Transfer Embellish Stitch
My sketches for the book's quilt project. The one in the book ended up being closest to the bottom middle sketch.

We had a lot of fun designing the projects and figuring out which motifs and embellishments to use for which project. It became a game of mixing and matching to make sure that we were using the motifs, techniques, and embellishments so that they were equally represented in the book.

Transfer Embellish Stitch
We used all solid colored fabrics in the book so that the motifs could take center stage

The process of editing the book and combing through all of the text, creating illustrations, and making sure everything matched up was tremendously time consuming and required a lot of concentrated energy and time. I will never look at a sewing or craft book the same way again!

Transfer Embellish Stitch
Working on a round of book edits at the local coffee shop

We would love to see how you interpret the projects in the book! Always feel free to send me your photos, and post on social media, too! Don't forget to use the hashtag #transferembellishstitch

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