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Stripped Down Patchwork Blog Tour: Day 1

(Welcome to the first day of Erin Gilday’s Stripped Down Patchwork Blog Tour! I’ve got a guest blogger today—Cheryl Johnson!)

Stripped Down Patchwork Blog Tour: Behind the Scenes
A behind-the-scenes breakdown of how a crafty idea becomes a book by Cheryl Johnson, Publication Director for Quilt and Sewing and Craft and Paint and Cross Stitch and Needlework and...basically, I'm a wearer of many hats. I do like hats.

So Erin asked me to show a bit of the process of building her new book Stripped Down Patchwork. I'm lucky enough to see each book begin as just a glimmer in a creative person's eye, grow through a few rounds of polish, and launch into the world as a lovely, lovely book.

Here's how it happens (and it says "step" like it proceeds in an orderly fashion when the honest truth is there are days when you do it all and all at once as fast as you can):

Step 1: The Concept.
Not all book concepts are created equal. They come in through the snail mail and our email box ( in a variety of formats and levels of development. Erin's was one of the rarest of the rare: a concept outlined beautifully, professionally, and with pictures and everything. We are visual types. Pictures matter.
Step 2: The Contract.
I say, "Can you send us those models and the instructions by this date?"
And Erin says, "Yes". On our publication calendar it goes!
Step 3: Delivery.
I am the lucky one who opens the boxes that come in filled with all things fabric. We usually gather around and make the "oohs" and "aahs" as every item comes out of the box.
And this is not really a part of the actual process but it is something that I do when I have the chance and the items require it.
Cheryl Tries Things On.
If there's a hat, it goes on my head. In this case, I put on the apron because it needed to be worn. It happens. And it is too working! I'm sitting at my desk, just working away. You can tell because it's so messy.
Step 4: Editing Instructions

Technical editors work with every one of our books to make sure the instructions are easy to read and accurate. I don't have a picture of an actual editor because they are notoriously difficult to find when you have a camera in your hand. Take my word for it. They exist. They sit in spots that look sort of like this (on a good day). Sticky notes are clearly an integral piece to the publishing process.

Step 5: Photography
We send the models out with our talented stylists

and photographers. And sometimes they visit exotic locales like this one where they were photobombed by the resident four-legged creatures. As a dog fan, I love when the dogs wander across the photo, but it doesn't always suit the mood, you know?

Step 6: Layout

Once the instructions are polished and the photos are finished, one of our graphic artists takes it all and whips it into a layout. Then we write all over it, ask for a change here and there and then in this other place...and then, just like magic, it's ready to go to the printer! All together, that's about six months because we're doing that on several books all at once.

To find out more about this fabulous book, visit Also, it's on S-A-L-E this month. Go take a look. A great book + a nice discount=good times!
And don't forget to leave a comment!! We're giving a way a copy of Erin's book here to one lucky winner.
So that's what's happening in my section of the building. Thanks for coming along for a short tour. If you'd like to see more of my behind the scenes behind the scenes, visit me at Living In A Material World. Right now, there's a whole lot of my new dog Jack, but a little bit of Leisure Arts pops up now and then.
Also be sure to check in on Tuesday’s blog tour stop:
Sew Daily – - Tuesday, May 17

You can visit Erin herself at!

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