December 16, 2013

The Submission Process and A Modern Holiday Table Runner

Do you ever have an idea tucked away that you just never get around to trying?
I have!  Lots . . . can I say LOTS of ideas. Probably more ideas than I'll ever have time to make.

This table runner is the result of playing with one of those ideas. I have always wanted to make a quilt using a drunkard's block arranged into full circles where the main color is in the background rather than the circles.

A small table runner seemed the perfect choice when Stitch Magazine put out a call for submissions to their 2014 Gifts issue. Something bright and cheery without being overly Christmas. Something that emphasized the circle theme.

For those of you who haven't tried submitting to a magazine, I though I'd share what my typical submission is like. If it's not a project that has already been made, then I usually start with some design ideas and fabric choices. In the case of Stitch, they have a color palette and theme for each issue so this is obviously taken into consideration.

I use Adobe Illustrator for most of my design work. I'm not an expert by any means and am pretty sure I do most things the hard way, but I get by without getting myself into too many binds. In this case, I designed using solid colors and then took a photo of proposed fabrics to include in the submission. Here's what my submission looked like.

You can see that I included a brief description of the project, along with the basic techniques and materials needed. Another thing you might notice is that I included a photo comp of the table runner in use.  I had the benefit of my husband's graphic design capabilities. He "placed" my runner onto a table and added some candles. And he did a great job if I do say so myself. But please don't be intimidated by this because it's not something I usually include in a submission. Couldn't do it myself if I had to. It just seemed like a nice touch so we went for it. Don't forget you're trying to sell your idea after all.

Once the project was accepted, I worked with the editor to make final fabric selections. When fabrics were finalized, the piece was made, directions written, process photos taken along the way and then sent off to meet the deadline.

If you'd like to learn more about my runner along with lots of other great gift ideas, pick up a copy of Stitch Gifts 2014. These owl and fox stockings on the cover are just so cute. I have 2 or 3 projects tagged that I would like to make.

It's always a thrill for me to see a project published. And it's always a bit of surprise to see what the publisher does with your project in terms of photography. This one was even included as part of the table of contents page . . . an extra little thrill!

If you are thinking about submitting, do your homework first. Check with the publication to see if they want finished projects or whether proposed projects are acceptable. Sometimes they like to work with you on final fabrics so it's the most current and fitting for their theme. Other times they want to see the finished work including close-ups of any quilting or details.

Also check into your rights. Some magazines return the rights to a project to you after a set period of time so you can republish the idea yourself. Others don't. Be clear on this going in if you think you'd like to create a pattern for sale later.

Most importantly:

  • Be patient . . . it can take awhile to hear back.
  • Be persistent . . . it can take awhile to be accepted.
  • Be timely . . . once you're accepted, by all means carry through and meet their deadlines.

This year has been one of submissions for me and I have been fortunate to have found success with some projects. There have been rejections too. It's all part of the process so just keep trying. If you've been thinking about submitting check out the following submission deadlines.

Submissions for Modern Patchwork Summer 2014 are due this Friday Dec 20th. Go here to learn more.
Submissions for the Stitch Fall 2014 issue are due January 10th. Go here to learn more.
Why not make 2014 the year you give it a try?

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December 11, 2013

WIP Wednesday

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for another WIP Wednesday. Seeing all the blog posts about projects underway for holiday gifts inspired me to get going and start making. I just couldn't let another Christmas season go by with nothing to show for my crafty efforts.

First up was the December block for our Mid Century Modern Bee. A super easy oversized 9-patch block with vintage feeling fabrics for Mary of MollyFlanders. I love vintage but my fabric stash does not scream vintage at all. After digging a little deeper than usual I came up with these prints that seemed to fit the bill. Hopefully they will work with Mary's idea.

Next up was a mug rug for a gift exchange this week at our Boulder Modern Quilt Guild Holiday Party. Can you believe I have never made a mug rug? I sit here everyday with a cup of tea and sometimes a chocolate or snack and yet I've never bothered to make one for myself or as a gift.
What can I say?  BTW . . . my real mug is better than this plain one but clashed with the fabrics. : )

Played around with a few ideas and then came across this great tutorial online and knew it had to be the one. It involves more fabric than your usual mug rug but is such a clever idea I couldn't resist. Each quarter circle makes it's own little pocket. A great place to tuck in a special treat, tea bag, or hot cocoa mix.  Plus it's super simple to make. I definitely see more of these mug rugs in my future.

My last holiday project involved fabric I bought last year with the good intention of making gifts for some special people in my life.  They didn't get done.  I felt bad.  This year I needed to redeem myself.

These are silky prints which I don't usually sew with. I will admit I hate trying to cut this slippery stuff! Ending up with anything close to 2 matching pieces with straight edges seems nearly impossible to me. But once they were cut and I got started, it wasn't so bad.

An afternoon latter and I had managed to finish 5 new infinity scarves to give as gifts as well as finish one from a couple of years ago that was never finished. Another WIP done.

All in all I'm pretty satisfied that I got these things done in early December. Now to get the bee block and gifts wrapped and in the mail is an entirely different story. Anyone with me on that one?

Hope you are enjoying your holiday traditions. Just don't put too much pressure on yourself to do it all.  Find time to enjoy the season instead of being a slave to expectations.

Please read on to my next post and see my daughter's beautiful jewelry too. I'm a proud mama.

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December 9, 2013

My Daughter's Beautiful Jewelry

I am so proud of my daughter. She has taken her passion for jewelry making and her metalsmithing degree and not only found a full time job in the industry but also started her own jewelry business.

Here's a little sampling of her latest line of jewelry. All handcrafted from silver and various gemstones.

My personal favorite. 

She will be offering these and many more lovely pieces the next 2 weekends at the following craft shows in the Boulder County area. If you live nearby, please stop by and say hello, wish her luck and buy a fine handcrafted piece of jewelry for yourself or as a gift for someone special.

If you don't live nearby, then hop over to her Etsy shop, EmilyClaireStudio, and shop online.

I'm linking up with Cindy's Really Random Thursday today.

Here's to you Emily . . . may you find success as you take the next step toward your dream.
Love you  : )

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December 5, 2013

Quilt Market: Houston the City

I wrote up this post some time ago and then got side tracted and forgot to publish it. Tell me Im not the only one to do this.

Hope you're not too tired of hearing about Quilt Market. This post isn't really Market at all but rather a tiny sliver of Houston. I had never been there before and it's big. Highways everywhere. Needless to say, we had a few wrong turns and wrong exits but never got lost so it wasn't bad.

We arrived on Friday afternoon. Too late for schoolhouse which I'm sorry to have missed but we just couldn't fit it all in. Spent a bit of time walking around downtown taking pictures.

I love the contrast between the buildings and nature.

One of Emily's photos . . . she has a great eye for photography.

Loved these trees. Does anyone know what kind they are?
They are everywhere and create a lovely tunnel effect in the residential areas.

We also enjoyed the art around town. These sculptures are part of Discovery Green Park directly across the street from the convention center. This park made for a great escape to take in the sun and fresh air plus grab lunch away from the market chaos.

"Monument Au Fantome" by Jean DuBuffet a 20th century French sculptor.
The tallest piece here is 33 feet. Maybe evidence that everything's bigger in Texas?

Part of a fountain in Discovery Green Park. Very refreshing when the heat builds up.
I think I see quilting lines here don't you?

Does anyone see a quilt design here?

On Sunday, we took a little time away from Market to visit the Rothko Chapel, The Houston Center for Contemporary Craft and the Houston Center for Photography.

"Broken Obelisk" by Barnett Newman in a reflecting pool.
 Rothko Chapel entrance is in the background.

These are all small intimate places and don't require a lot of time. But each museum had something to inspire and motivate our creative spirits. It was also a lovely day and great to recharge our Market batteries before returning for the last day and our departure for home.

A few shots of my usual photography adventures . . . seeking out leaves and trees wherever I go.

An odd mix for a post, but this is how I "do" a city. Always looking for the natural element.
Hopefully the city experience will help with the "Urban" small art quilts we are doing in the Four-in-Art group. Next topic is structures due February 1st.

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