Monday, October 15, 2007

Behind the Seams


Is it time to talk more about the book? Yes. I think so. Whew. Okay. As visual reference today, let me take you on a little tour of my friend Tracy's farm. Eleven acres of beauty that, in my opinion, is touched just enough, left alone just enough. I love it. It'll be the backdrop for many of the photos in my book. Tracy is a dear friend of mine and always open to an adventure. She and Juliana are two of the only people who I always look to for feedback on various design choices. Her world is so light filled and relaxed it makes me sleepy and happy.


Ahhh, yes, the book. I am so excited. The official title (provided I don't suddenly do a Tennessee scenery book as it seems I have been lately) is Seams To Me. While its a sewing project book with about 2 dozen projects, including several fold out patterns, its also about sewing. About my sewing. About how I do it. What I feel like are important things to know so that you can more quickly get to making beautiful things. And also so that you can enjoy the process and appreciate the process as a wonderful thing in itself. The overwhelming feeling that I've encountered and re-encountered over and over again as I write this book is that I want people to love sewing. I really really want you to love it as much as I do. I think sewing is such a gift.


The projects will range from accessories for you and your home to patchwork and clothing. I'm including several basic tutorials like installing a zipper and working with elastic along with an in depth look at understanding color and pattern to help you choose and combine fabrics.
I spent some time with Tracy this morning planning some of the shots and checking colors against backdrops etc. Making lots and lots of notes and figuring out the schedule of photographing several children, a donkey, a horse and a few dogs. And some other stuff too. Writing this book just has so many many layers to it. I find myself completely consumed some days working away at the technical aspects then other days I am overjoyed an giddy that I have such a rich a lustrous medium to play out my ideas about what I think is beautiful. I am learning a great deal about my own design work and what I'm capable of. My editor and Microsoft could also tell you what I'm not capable of (=I hate templates)


When I was first approached and asked to write a book it was for a completely different sewing title. It was much more manual style sewing and much less lifestyle sewing. It required a lot of research for me to write it as comprehensively as I could. I did it though. I wrote half the manuscript for it and the editors were extremely pleased. So pleased, in fact, that they decided I should do a different book. My own, Really my own. Something more personal. So I got to start over. Now doesn't that sound like so much fun?


But by the time I had worked my way through half the original title I discovered that I had clear ideas about what I wanted a sewing book to be. I didn't start out that way. I started out wondering if I would do a good job of this and feeling really humbled by the whole thing. So when they asked me to take the reins I knew just where I wanted to steer that pony.


More than anything this has been such a path, and every step of it has mattered a great deal and has helped turn this project into something that I hope to be very proud of and something that I really hope people love. I am at a place where I can imagine doing this again. I've heard that you either hate the process or you love it. I don't hate it. I'll get back to you on love, once I'm holding it in hand.


Oh and when will that be? Weeelll. Gosh things take a long time. The book will hit shelves in October of 2008. All the changes that it went through pushed the date back about 6 months. So there it is. I am sure I'll be showing and telling in the spring, and honestly about to bust (at the seams, as it were) to show you now!


So much exciting stuff ahead to share with you, so stay tuned. Thanks as always for your support, emails, encouragement and for stopping in to see me as much as you do. Sharing with you is my breathing time and a chance to reflect outwardly. Anyway, its a big big sky over all of us, and I love how small it feels here.
Talk to ya soon peeps. xoxoxAM


  1. Anonymous6:54 PM

    how exciting and many congratulations on your book...can't wait to check it out!

    that house/farm/those is all so beautiful. and what a perfect backdrop!

    .xo. Jennh

  2. Anonymous7:00 PM

    wow, anna maria! I am so happy to hear more about it. I am always dreaming up projects and scenes for when my turn comes. So great to hear about the process. I can't wait to read your book!

  3. Anonymous7:04 PM

    Oh how exciting - I love sewing books and can't wait for yours to come out. You are so creative and your work is always so beautiful so I know the book will be too. Good luck on the photo shoots.

  4. I will be looking for your book next year then!

    I love your creativity and designs, and the way you've described it your book will be fabulous - can't wait!

  5. I really really like sewing, and I really really like you so...I'm really really going to get this book!! :D

  6. Great post, thanks so much for sharing so much of yourself. I look forward to owning your book.

  7. Anonymous7:43 PM

    Well remember Anna Maria, that I want to be FIRST in line to get an autographed copy! You so deserve this opportunity to share your talents with the world - it is going to be a very special book - how could it not? It is of YOU.

  8. Can't wait for the book to be available. I enjoy your blog and all of your projects. The book should be a real treat.


  9. Can't wait for your book!

  10. I cant wait to see how the donkey is incorporated *smile*

    Very excited to add your book to my growing library of craft books.

  11. ooh, i can't wait for your book!! by then i should know how to sew!!

  12. I already have that warm, fuzzy feeling about your book! How great that the editors let you pour your oh-so-wonderful self into it! Let us know when we can pre-order!

  13. Anonymous9:14 PM

    Congrats on the book!

  14. Your news is very exciting. I am convinced you will achieve your goal... more people are going to love sewing, with your encouragement. I am so glad you share your talents and funny life-details with us. Your blog is a bright spot, an inspiration. I really appreciate that you let us join your adventure and see the processes by which you create; it's very interesting and it's very fun. Thank you. And congratulations!

  15. Anonymous9:55 PM

    Congratulations! I will be waiting (im)patiently for October 2008 to get a copy.

  16. Anonymous10:03 PM

    Oh no, a whole year! well I'd best getting working on some of these projects stacked up so I can delve right in when its here! Right now I am working on aprons for Christmas gifts using chocolate lollipop my soon to be married daughter bounced on the FQ pack in my sewing room so I had to go out and buy more!

  17. That's terribly exciting- what a journey for you, and a treat for us!

  18. Anonymous11:11 PM

    I would have bought your book even if it was a sewing "manual." Still, I think that it's the PERFECT direction to take with the orientation being toward "lifestyle" sewing/design. You're too talented to do a manual, and uniquely gifted to do the "lifestyle" type book.
    Wishing you all the best and may God bless your efforts.


  19. Congratulations!!! How exciting. We'll all be waiting and supporting you whenever it comes out. Take care and enjoy yourself.

  20. I'm so excited! Your book is going to be fantabulous AM! I just know it!

  21. Anonymous12:31 AM

    Congratulations on the book! I hope that it's creation is as much of a wonderful experience as it sounds like it will be.

    P.S. Your friend's home is gorgeous. Oh, how I miss living on acreage.

  22. Anonymous3:20 AM

    A fab book to look forward to! And I love the upholstered chair too.

  23. I'm really excited for you and cannot wait for the book!! I love your friend's farm. It's going to be a beautiful backdrop for your book xxx

  24. Congratulations on the book, i'm sure it will be a great book.

  25. I can hardly wait! And Tracy's farm looks like the ideal spot for a photo shoot; I love the mix of classic and contemporary with which she's decorated it. Hey, see you next week, right?

  26. can't wait to see your book. love the way you shared a little bit of the process with us. little peaks behind the seams are so fascinating. and your friend's home is beautiful.

  27. I can't wait to buy that book. One for me and one for my daughter. My favorite photo is the donkey. So cute!

  28. Tell your publisher that you have a bunch of people ready to preorder your book--and make sure I'm on the list! We could have a release party like they did for Harry Potter...
    I know you still have lots of work ahead of you. Best wishes for resolving every problem and clearing every hurdle.

  29. Anonymous8:31 AM

    OOOOOOOOH! I just found your blog! Wonderful! I love your pictures, home, fabric (especially the Bohemian collection), art, your studio, the children's dresses! Awesome! I'm just learning to sew, and after our move next month into a new home, I'm really going to tackle those sewing projects, embroidery items half done, scrapbook pages unfinished, paint until I'm weak. I miss it all so much! Thanks for inspriring! best, Danielle

  30. OK, I want to live in your friend's house! So beautiful. I would brush the donkey!!

    I am really excited for you, and I am excited for us! YOu write such a beautiful blog, and you have such a wonderful design sense. I know the book will be fantastic!

  31. I'm so happy you posted about your book - just this morning I was wondering how it was going!!

  32. A book? How exciting! Can't wait to see what you've cooked up for us. I'm sure that it will be hard to pick just a couple. Best wishes.

  33. Congratulations Anna Maria! You are such an inspiration!! Enjoy, enjoy!

  34. Anonymous10:16 AM

    can't wait. And savour each moment!

  35. The book sounds wonderful - a must-have for sure! And wow have you ever found the perfect place to shoot pictures! I see why you love it so much!

  36. I always think that things that are authentically you are the best things to do! I'm glad you rethought your book because it makes me want to read it so much more!!! I loved your photos here too... you are a photographer as well!!

  37. Congratulations! I can't wait to see the book because I LOVE to sew too. My Mom was a sewing teacher and I loved being in her sewing room as a little girl. Now here I am 50 something with my own sewing room and grown kids and I still love to sew. Life is good.

  38. Anonymous1:53 PM

    hi anna maria, i cant wait to buy your book, i love your fabric, your sewing, your painting, your blog, well everything.
    oh and thanks for telling me where i can buy your fabric, i got it and started a quilt mixed with old fabrics of my grandma, it is really fun! all the best for you and your family, mara

  39. you are amazing. best wishes!

  40. Anonymous2:15 PM

    ah! next year?!?! i can't wait!

  41. Oh goodness, we must wait a year? I am counting the days before I can go purchase your book! How exciting!

  42. Anonymous9:02 PM

    I'm certain it will be well worth the wait.

  43. Anonymous9:58 PM

    Very impressive. I like how you said your friends' world makes you sleepy and happy, that is just a great description, and I have felt that in my life a time or two. I also find it really interesting that a book writing process takes so long, I envy your patience, that is something I am learning more everyday. Thanks for sharing and for the inspiration you leave.


  44. Anonymous12:56 AM

    Now, that sounds like my kind of book. I am pretty much a self taught sewer and would love some simple tips to make sewing easier.


  45. A book!!!hurrah, how exciting. I know what'll be on my Christmas wish list next year (Hmmmm if I can wait from October to December that is!. Happy creating, I'll be watching this space.

  46. Oh Anna Maria, I'm soooo excited to get your book! I know we all will love it! Your work is truly fabulous and you are so inspirational!

    Thank you!

  47. Anonymous10:55 AM

    I so CANNOT wait until the release of your book, it sounds right up my alley! Oh does it mean that you'll do a book tour? Oh pretty please come to Houston. Best of luck with the book, I hope that the process and the product bring you joy.

  48. Anonymous1:54 PM

    Oh, what a brilliant name!
    And the contents of the book sounds just as great =)

  49. I am soo excited about your book!!! very cool!!! Beautiful farmhouse and pics!!!

  50. the book sounds wonderful! thawing a tray of pastitcio tonight? :) wish I were there. xoC

  51. mmmm, haven't decided on the pastichio (I never know how to spell that in English, and don't have a Greek keyboard), tonight, more of a black bean mood, I think. I would make you fresh if you were here, dear Charlotte :)

  52. Oh, I really can't wait! It sounds wonderful!

  53. Beautiful photos -- and a fantastic piece about the power of writing! It's amazing how sitting down to work on a writing about something can help you to cement your own views. I wish my former writing students could experience what you have with this book just once -- to be able to find not only what you want to say -- but the voice in which to say it.

  54. Anonymous4:42 PM

    I think I travel to the beautiful farmhouse of your friend and then I'm going to sleep for a year and when I wake up the first thing I'm buying is your book!

  55. Anonymous6:48 PM

    1. I'm sitting here dreaming of moving to Tennesee. I grew up in Chicago, and I now live in the San Francisco area... both rather fast paced places. 2. I can't wait to have your book in my hands. 3. You must be on cloud nine. 4. Congratulations and have fun!

  56. Congrats on that book! I can't wait to see it and get my hands on it! What a beautiful place!

  57. Anonymous5:09 PM

    Counting down the days, here in Idaho! Literally!!

  58. Oh anna i missed allot in a week i have not visit your blog. im glad the book is well on its way )).

  59. Congratulations! I cannot wait to see it. ~jen~

  60. Anonymous2:29 AM

    Wow what a challenge to put 'yourself' in the book but how you describe it I get so exited.... can't wait to get it..wishing you lots of fun and beautiful moments finishing it..

  61. I CANT WAIT! And there is a pug in the home you photographed - I love it even MORE!!!

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