Thursday, May 24, 2012

Monna Ellithorpe Publishes Double Wedding Ring Quilt Pattern

Earlier this year Monna Ellithorpe used CreateSpace to publish her "Easy Double Wedding Ring Quilt" instructional pattern book. This book is 6" x 9" and has 32 pages.  Mrs. Ellithorpe was motivated to write the book, according to the description on Amazon, "out of sheer frustration in trying to make a Double Wedding Ring Quilt. Wanting so desperately to make this beautiful quilt for her daughter..."  She goes on to say the pattern is one even a beginner quilter can make! 

Today's posts are about different self-publishing ideas other quilters had. This is a quilt pattern book. Next you'll read about a children's book involving a magical quilt, and finally, a more traditional catalog on quilted sculptures.

The steps we've covered to date have included the major elements of creating your own quilt catalog:
I hope your quilt catalog is coming along!  Enjoy these examples from other self-published quilters!

Mary and The Dream Quilt - One Grandmother Publishes Stories for Her Grandchildren

Susan Victor published Mary and The Dream Quilt, a 60-page book for her grandchildren using CreateSpace. According to the book's description, "When Mary and Squeaks find the Dream Quilt hidden at the bottom of Grandmother's Trunk of Tricks, fairies, dragons, and mermaids are just a dream away. But an ugly old witch and her nasty black cat learn of it too! Courageous little Mary must quickly discover her magic and stop the witch's plans before the Dream Quilt is lost forever."

Have you considered publishing a children's story featuring your quilts?  Have a look at Mary and The Dream Quilt on Amazon and click the Look Inside logo on the book cover. You'll see that this book has a black & white interior with black & white line drawings. You can read the positive reviews about the book.

I believe if the late Celia Spatz LoPinto were here, she would add Susan Victor's book to Mrs. LoPinto's "Stitch Me A Story: A Guild to Children's Books with a Quilting Theme." Mrs. LoPinto self-published her 74-page guide in 1994 and updated it in 1999. This guild included the title, publication details and story descriptions for more than 125 children's books.  What a gem!  Enjoy! 

The Studio Quilt, No. 8: Quilted Sculpture

Congratulations to Sandra Sider, who has published another catalog in the Studio Quilt series. This 50-page catalog features the quilted sculpture pieces by Mary Beth Bellah, Susan Else, and Jill Rumoshosky Werner. This catalog is published via CreateSpace and retails for $14 (though at the moment it is listed for just $10!).

As you consider your own personal or guild catalog, you might brainstorm possible series opportunities:
  • A guild's two or three major exhibits during the year
  • A gallery might focus on creating catalogs featuring up-and-coming local artists
  • A quilter might consider a catalog for different themed quilts (e.g., family quilts in one catalog by one person and another catalog featuring a collection of quilts by different family members or across different generations)
What kind of catalog series are you considering?  Enjoy!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Step 11 - Type Your Artist Resume and Proof Your Catalog

Your catalog is a great way for potential collectors of your work to become familiar with you. For people who have already invested in your work, this catalog may enhance the value of your quilts to them. The artist resume is a way to illustrate your involvement with your craft in a more formal way than the essay you may have written in your catalog.

Let's say you want to create a one-page artist resume to include in your catalog.  The topics you might consider adding:

  • How to contact you.  You might provide an email or website address.
  • Selected exhibits where your quilts have been included
  • A selected list of any book or articles that feature your art work
  • Selected public or private collections that include your quilts
  • Selected list of guild or association memberships 
  • Notice that you offer workshops or lectures about your artwork or quilt technique(s)
Guilds which are creating an exhibit catalog may consider adding a page featuring the guild's history or invitation for readers to join the guild.

Congratulations!  If you've been following these steps, you have the basic framework for your own quilt catalog!  You have an essay that provides insights into your artistic motivations, you have a dozen or so images of your quilts, and an artist resume.

In Step 12 - we'll start the process of actually getting your catalog published and distributed.  But, before that, you'll need to ensure that your catalog is proofread.

Ensure any purposely blank pages are indeed blank.  Check for grammatical errors, readability, formatting consistency and such. For a week or two, put your manuscript aside; then, come back to it with fresh eyes. Proof your manuscript again. Consider hiring a professional proofreader or ask friends who will be very honest with you (smile!). I have used to locate proofreaders within my budget. In any respect, you'll need an error-free file to create your quilt or art catalog.

How is your quilt catalog project coming along?  Do you have any questions that I can help with? Do drop a note in the Comments area.  I'd love to hear from you.  Enjoy! 

Offer your quilt catalog in the UK, Germany, France, Spain, and Italy!

Today CreateSpace announced that authors using their service can distribute their books (like your quilt catalog!) on the Amazon websites in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain and Italy.... for free.  Your quilt catalog, if you choose to participate in the Amazon Europe program, will always be in stock in these countries.

Additionally, your quilt catalog, if you use CreateSpace, will be available for same-day shipping in those countries. No longer will your potential customers have to pay extra for shipping from the US. 

What is great for quilters outside of the US, you can receive royalties from your quilt catalogs by direct deposit in US dollars, British pounds or Euro. 

This morning I've expended the How to Self-Publish Your Quilt Catalog distribution to these new countries.  It was as easy as a click!  Enjoy!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Step 10 - Insert Photos of Your Quilts into Your Catalog

No art catalog is complete without photographs! I have several exhibit catalogs published in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s that have B&W photographs because this was the affordable way to publish such gallery catalogs.  With print-on-demand, you can publish a catalog in full-color. 

By now you should have determined the layout you want for your quilt catalog as well as the number of images or photographs you want to include.

There are a variety of photographic styles you can use for your catalog, such as:
  • Professionally or personally photographed art pieces;
  • Images of you at work sewing on your machine or sewing by hand;
  • A photograph of your quilt on a bed or wall; and/or
  • A group photo of you with family or friends near one of your quilts on display

You might consider different photo caption styles, such as:
  • Name of piece, year made, size of piece, materials used, owner of the piece
  • Paragraph describing your inspiration for making the piece

Other Items to Consider:
  • Be sure to give the photographer credit for his or her images in your catalog.
  • If you have photographs of anyone other than yourself in your catalog, be sure to get a signed photo release from each person in the photo. Be sure you have their written permission to publish their image.  
  • You’ll need digital images to insert into your Word file.  For CreateSpace, the final interior book file size cannot be larger than 400MB.  Insert your photographs into your Word document; do not copy and paste the images, for best quality.
There are a few online resources for taking quality images of your quilts:

Friday, May 4, 2012

Aisha Lumumba's New Art Quilt Catalog Is Available for Sale!

Congratulations to Aisha Lumumba!!  She has just published her own quilt catalog!  Gifted: Art Quilts Featuring African American History Makers is a 28-page, full-color softback catalog showcasing quilted portraits of prominent Black Americans such as Harriet Tubman, Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey, Sidney Poitier and President and Mrs. Obama.  

I asked Ms. Lumumba yesterday if she would answer a few questions to give insights to others who are following the Publish Your Quilts blog.

What motivated you to create a quilt catalog?
Mrs. Lumumba: I was motivated to create my quilt catalog by Ms. Kyra Hicks. First, I had seen the advertising for her book, How to Self-Publish Your Own Quilt Catalog, and I made a mental note to get one. When I finally got the workbook in my hands, the wheels inside my brain started to roll. I opened the package at the post office and read (the workbook) at red lights on the way home. I sat down and read the book in its entirety before I put it down. I was so inspired that I knew right away what I wanted to do.

Was your publishing process difficult or expensive? 
The Publish Your Quilts blog and the workbook were both very helpful. I felt like the blog gave me a chance to communicate with the author, that I would not have otherwise with just the book. The process was so easy. The workbook laid it all out very clearly. I simply followed step-by-step. The beautiful truth is that it cost me absolutely nothing. When I tell others that I did it for free, they look at me like something green is dripping from my head. It is an amazing process. I used CreateSpace to publish my catalog. I found it really easy to use as well.  Whenever I was stumped, I called them up. They responded immediately. The customer service was great.

How does it feel to have a finished catalog of your quilts?
The only answer I can give is giggly!  I remember being young and everything was funny. My girlfriends and I would laugh for hours, sometimes at nothing. My friend's mother would say, "why are you all laughing?"  That is how I feel about my new book. I feel like laughing for no reason. When I first saw my catalog online and available for sale, I was over the moon with excitement. This is something I have wanted to do for a long time. Ms. Hicks has opened a door for me with the information in her workbook.

What advice do you have for other quilters or guilds considering making a catalog?
I advise anyone considering making a catalog to go for it. "Nothing beats the heck out of a failure, but a try." It costs nothing to try it. I'd say make sure you take quality pictures of your work.

Would you like to add anything else?
I  know many people may be afraid to take such a big step, but if you do, you will find that it is well worth it. Dare to be like Nike: "Just Do It."  

----   Again , congratulations to Atlanta quilter Aisha Lumumba for her new catalog, Gifted.  If you have any questions you'd like to ask Mrs. Lumumba, feel free to leave in the Comments area here.  Also - take a moment to see her catalog on Amazon, if you like what you see click the "Like" button near the title... and maybe purchase a copy for yourself or a Mother's Day gift (smile!).  Enjoy!

Update:  This post was featured in the Huffington Post - Arts Section. Click to read.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Beauty Secrets: 150 Years of History in One Quilt Pattern

Bill Volckening is a self-described "quilt magnet," who has collected quilts since 1989. He used the website to publish a catalog of quilts in his collection, which were on display in 2011.  The 80-page, full-color catalog is titled "Beauty Secrets: 150 Years of History in One Quilt Pattern."  The softcover retails for $31.95.  Visit Blurb to preview Bill's catalog.     Have you used the Blurb website to make a catalog?  Can you share your experience?

Do you collect quilts or other textiles? Wouldn't it be cool to make a catalog of your personal collection?  Your quilts, your cloth dolls, the quilts from multiple generations of your family?  What catalog collection idea do you haveEnjoy!