We Are $ew Worth It Resources: Press Kits

One of my goals with the We Are $ew Worth It (#WASWI) movement is to create a useful catalog of resources and templates that help us navigate our industry.

HDS Sew Worth It RESOURCES

For me, one of the best things about quilting has always been the tradition of women helping women. And this isn’t a more recent feminist idea (although who doesn’t love feminism?), it has always been there in the fabric arts. One might think the neighborhood ladies gathered around the frame to get the bride’s quilt stitched, but you just know that they were also sharing the wisdom necessary to conduct life… how to make a great pie crust, how to get a stain out of something, how to navigate a grumpy hubby or calm a colicky baby. We still do this today in mini-groups and online communities – the frame might be different but the need to share wisdom hasn’t changed.

So to the tribe of quilters, sewists and fiber artists – please join me here around this virtual quilt frame to both offer your wisdom, and to benefit from the knowledge sharing here! I know I don’t have all the answers, but with your help I know I can build a useful cache of important docs for us all.

Thus today I’d like to tackle Press Kits. I was asked for a press kit yesterday for the first time so I’m hustling. So far, this is the best link I’ve found, but obviously what I need to do here is build the one that matters to both the industry I work in, AND the industry I’m offering it to.

Based on that article this is what I think it needs to have:

  • Information about my company
  • Information about the products I offer
  • Information about the specific product I’m pitching to the people that asked for it (in this case the new book, as it was a book store asking as part of a book signing gig*)
  • Information about me – a little bio, and info on where I do my thing (teaching and speaking stuff)
  • Recent publications and articles
  • Links on where to find me: email, website, Facebook, Instagram, etc
  • Images of me, my logo, my book (or products)
  • A review of the book or product

Some of the things I’m not including right now, but might consider in the future:

  • Financial information – I’m not asking for investments so no need to divulge it
  • Video or audio links – mostly because I don’t have them yet. If I had something that shows me speaking well I would include it so the book store could see that I won’t be an awkward mess. If I was pitching this at a distributor I might not show me speaking, but show me teaching the product I’m pitching to them so they know I’m doing my part to sell it, too.
  • Press releases – I don’t have any, and for this particular gig the arrangements have already been made. If it was a cold send, I imagine this would be the leading document. I’m thinking I might need to write one though.
  • Social media stats. I used to look longingly at the “Likes” on other people’s pages, but with Facebook’s recent underhanded throttling of anyone’s reach, I’m not so sure this is the best basket to collect eggs in. Don’t get me wrong… I’d love to have more “Likes” just so that I can potentially talk to more people (and if you’re reading this because you picked it up on someone’s feed, then PLEASE LIKE ME!) BUT… Seth Godin, the smartest guy in the online media business, recently wrote this, and it has me thinking that the race for numbers isn’t really the best metric by which to measure success (and this is probably a discussion for another time!)

YOUR TURN

  • What do you think a press kit should have?
  • What do you think doesn’t matter?
  • Do you have links to good ones to share?
  • Industry Peeps who have already figured this out – do you mind sharing?
  • Industry Suppliers – what info do you want us to present to you?
  • What more could this WASWI Resource include to be of use to you?

* I’m signing Quilt Talk at the holy grail of independent booksellers, Powell’s City of Books in downtown Portland. Come see me on Saturday, October 11th at 4pm!

BTW – Did you join my mailing list yet? Do it here. I’m dreaming up groovy exclusive stuff for you!

 

 

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Embroidery as Animation

Animation is probably the first way we experience visual stories in movement. Saturday morning cartoons were definitely mine, and mostly the pioneering fast frame (limited animation) stuff of the Hanna-Barbera team. Top Cat and the Wacky Races were my faves from the sixties, while the Ninja Turtles and Transformers ruled my son’s early years.

Image credit superbwallpapers.com

Image credit superbwallpapers.com

I even borrowed a phrase from Dick Dastardly’s dog Muttley for my upcoming book Quilt Talk! (psst… a hint… it doesn’t involve words!)

Despite beginning to sew at about the same age I was watching these cartoons, I never imagined that sewing and cartoons could be integrated. But that’s out the window now, because of this:

 

The artist, Nicos Livesey, created the drawings for animation, then digitized them for embroidery for a music video. I can’t say the music is my bag, but I’m in awe of the rendering of the concept. Stunning stuff. And a whole new way to show off mad needle skillz to the masses. Sewing machines are indeed power tools!

H/T to Kathy Loomis at Art With a Needle for the link.

BTW – Did you join my mailing list yet? Do it here. I’m dreaming up groovy exclusive stuff for you!

 

Free Pattern – Paper Pieced Patriotic Heart

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I have another free pattern and project up on Janome’s site! Find it here.

Years ago, one of the positions I held on the Simi Valley Quilt Guild’s board was that of the Block of the Month coordinator. If you’ve never done one of these, it’s where the pattern for the month is published, and members who are interested each make one. Each block entered becomes a chance to win them all.

Anyway, I challenged myself that year to design paper-pieced blocks, and this was one of them. I recently unearthed it when my friend Annie asked if I still had it. Yep, I did. I’m really not much of a pack rat, but I do keep most of my art and drawings, and in a relatively (!) organized manner, so out it popped from the archives.

Original pp heart

1995! Almost 20 years ago! And when I was married to someone whose name isn’t Hunter! How time flies! And speaking of time… it’s my son’s 30th birthday today – how the heck did that happen?!?! Well, I know technically how that works, but… THIRTY! EGAD! (and I think I’ve used up my allotment of !! for today so I’ll calm down now)

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The new version finishes at 7 1/2”, and is drawn tidily with Adobe Illustrator. I’ve also added a few things that I’ve developed over the years (and for my upcoming book, Quilt Talk) like the “lead lines” for starting oddly angled seams. I also don’t draw the seam allowance around the blocks so that you can size them any way you like – but I do write “add 1/4” seam allowance” on every edge so that you don’t cut the edges off. I’ll leave you to guess how many blocks I’ve ruined doing that.

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The Janome project gives you the instructions to make a pillow, but you can also just take the block and run with it. If you do, shoot me some pix – I’d love to see what you’re up to!

BTW – Did you join my mailing list yet? Do it here. I’m dreaming up groovy exclusive stuff for you!

 

 

 

 

New Pattern – Star Stuff!

Another new pattern!

StarStuff - Cover 300dpiAnd so named for Carl Sagan’s statement that “we are star stuff,” made of the hydrogen atoms that are the stuff of life. I like the idea that we all have a bit of sparkle within us.

It’s a paper-piecing pattern – four identical quadrants make up one 15” finished star. I give pre-cutting instructions for paper-piecing, which minimizes fabric waste, and makes construction a little more efficient. If you can paper-piece and sew a decent 1/4” seam, you got this!

The pattern includes instructions for 6 quilt sizes from crib to king. You could bust some stash with it, or play with radiant colors like I did on the cover quilt.* I used leftovers to make the scrappy binding. The pattern also includes a  copy-able sketch sheet that you can fill with color for design purposes.

Color in Star pattern

It’s available in the shop here (will ship by the end of the week) or as PDF here immediately. It’s also carried by major distributors, so ask for it at your local quilt store.

Enjoy!

* Disclosure: this quilt is made with Kaufman Kona Solids, mostly purchased by me, and the rest generously supplied by Robert Kaufman Fabrics. The blocks were constructed by my lovely stunt sewists Abby, Jennifer, Julia, Julie and Julie!

BTW – Did you join my mailing list yet? Do it here. I’m dreaming up groovy exclusive stuff for you!