(Special thanks to Maria del Pinto for snapping this photo!!!)
It’s been three years and one week since my last book, Crafty Chica’s Art de la Soul, hit the shelves.
And it’s been a year-and-a-half since my agent called me to say “Potter Craft made an offer on your next craft title!”
Let me tell you a bit about publishing a craft book. It’s not all sequins and rickrack, but it is ultimately, just as shiny! First you have to compile a book proposal with every selling point of the book you want to write. And then add a detailed outline of what will go on every page. And then it goes to the acquisitions editor and they look at it with a magnifying glass and crunch a bunch of numbers.
For Crafty Chica’s Guide to Artful Sewing, I went through that process three times with my agent and book editor – fine tuning, changing projects, dialing in the focus a bit more. On the third go-round, exhausted, I sat down and handmade a special Crafty Chica sewing kit for each of the acquisition committee members! The entire time I thought “Please love my book proposal!”
It must have worked because that is the proposal they bought!
That is what I love about the team at Potter. They put so much cariños (extra TLC) into helping me make this page turner the best it could be. From my editors to the publicity staff, even the support staff (thanks, Thom!), they all had a bag of impressive tricks to share. I learned so much and my inspiration doubled! Even the photo shoot was like an art project by itself. My photographer, John Samora, helped me scout cool spots all over Phoenix. I am so happy with how it all came out!
My mission for this book is to prove that sewing is a ‘must-do’ for the everyday crafter. I meet so many crafters who experiment with crazy technqiues, but who are hesitant to put their foot to the pedal. I consider myself a crafter and artist. I’m not good with patterns, but I love to sew. I wrote this book from a crafter’s perspective, in our language. There are gobs of tips from experts, as well as a couple of essays and feature stories. I also share one super easy secret to making your projects look like they took hours to create, but ssshh! they didn’t!
I hope it serves as a gateway to many wonderful adventures trimmed in pompom fringe!
Here is some trivia from this process:
– When I started the book, I used a $99 Singer (yes, the one covered in buttons). One of the kind folks at Janome sent me an email asking if I would like to borrow a machine to use for the book. Um, heck yah! A week later, I found myself sitting in front of a high-tech $7,000 piece of machinery. It had a screen that moved up and down, everything was digitized. It even came with a CD with a sci-fi sounding lady who said, “Welcome to the Janome Memory Craft 11000…”
Talk about intimidating! I spent the day playing and using it. I didn’t use the ultra gourmet features because I wanted to keep the projects universal. Now it is my machine of choice, use all the gadgets features and love them! I’m hooked! 🙂
– There is one EASY project in the book that I had made many times before. I bought some pretty (expensive) fabric and sat down to whip it out. My brain chip must have malfunctioned because I forgot how to construct it. I remade the dang thing several times and ruined all the fabric. I was in hysterics by the end of the day. I gave it up and moved on to something else. The next morning in my bed, my eyelids popped open and I rose up like a thirsty Dracula – arms stretched out in front – and I walked to the machine, found a bit more fabric and made the project, like nothing. I don’t even think I blinked. Weird. Twilight Zone weird!
– Some of the models in the book are friends and family. One of them is my friend and avid reader, Dolly Diamonds, a burlesque dancer! Patrick’s cousins, Carisa and Jesse also posed, as well as some of Maya’s friends. Special thanks to them!
– I have two friends who run their own Latinocentric-fashion design company, Lola y lola. They
contributed two designs.
– I was soooo excited to put this book together that I went 50 pages over the allotted space! Trimming was like paring down my glitter collection. not easy!
Thanks for reading!
Peace, love, and glitter!