Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Needleworks (in the works)

menagerie.at.midnight

I've been writing this blog post in my mind for a few months now. This fall will see the publication of my 3rd book title, Anna Maria's Needleworks Notebook. I've casually mentioned it here and there, mostly in other interviews, in some talks I've given, in some conversations and so forth, but its time to talk about it a bit more officially, I imagine,- especially in the string of what I'm looking forward to this year. Because I am really, really, really thrilled with this upcoming book. It is so different than the other two, I think entirely in a good way. Just like hand work is different than sewing machine work- that sort of difference.

This book has come about very slowly, I sort of had half the projects designed before I even knew how I wanted to present them. The idea of a book about 18 months ago, just made me sleepy. Not bored, I was just all too aware of that process and how you live it eat it breathe it until its complete. And I guess I just didn't feel willing, as gratifying as it can be. But then as I logged stitching hours (crewel, embroidery, cross stitch, needlepoint, hand quilting and so on), jotted notes, made drawings, and dreamed of ideas.... the format of a book, a different sort, just came about. It made the most sense, as long as I could dictate the styling be a little different here and there, I felt I could make it just right. And my gracious publisher, was very willing. Which entirely surprised me. I don't know why, I guess I just thought that the style of books I have written already is such a fixture now that it has become the only way to do it. And I piled onto myself the obligation to suddenly become the official authority on all forms of needlework to qualify me for the task. So silly. That is already available, if that's what you want. So my collection is a personal one of favorite things to do with thread, needle and cloth. Designed by me, sometimes embracing, sometimes ignoring, but always adoring tradition (sorta like how you treat your family).

It will be physically different than the other two - maybe more relaxed, maybe more inspirational, slightly more free-form, but still loaded with projects. And how its going now, the writing and the sewing that is, the book is feeling like my friend already, my companion, my journal, following along in process. I didn't quite feel like that with the others, maybe because this one has been a slow, careful realization. Again maybe just echoing a different type of work than more technical sewing. In the end, the finished work, I hope, is just that- a record of ideas and inspirations, that comes from a very personal place that I'm hoping you can relate to, respond to with your own work, and enjoy for a very long time.

How's that for verbose?
Thanks for reading all that. I'm sorry if you're more confused about anything than you were about 4 minutes ago.
More soon, xoox, Anna

47 comments:

  1. I'm not confused at all. It is so evident to me that you are very passionate about needlework and handwork. I'm sure the book will be a reflection of that and more. xo.

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  2. I look forward to your personal expression of needlework in a book format! I can't wait to see its soulful beauty!

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  3. I think it sounds marvelous!

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  4. This sounds intriguing! I was looking for "modern" styles of embroidery, so I can't wait to see how your book turns out!

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  5. Anonymous2:01 PM

    Cant wait to see it finished. It is already on my birthday wishlist. My b-day is in September. So pretty good timing.
    I have done a lot of embroidery threw my life but haven't for a while. And I am starting to miss it. So this will be exiting

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  6. Meredith2:02 PM

    Not confused at all, but dying with anticipation to see your new book and hopefully snippets before it's published! :)

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  7. I'm excited!!! can't wait!!!

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  8. I think it's really exciting! I'm looking forward to more info about it, and of course the real print version in the fall! Thanks for letting us share the joy with you!~Ruth

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  9. i cannot wait! i discovered handwork this year, mostly inspired by pieces i've seen here. i am *in love* with it! it is so much different than machine sewing. i see machine sewing as active and energizing. for me as a (primarily) garment sewer, there is a lot of up and down. if i do it before bed, sometimes i have a hard time settling in and winding down. handsewing, on the other hand, feels slower and meditative. i love that i can be listening, while my hands stay busy. actually, i wrote a blog post all about it here: http://www.stitched-together.com/2011/09/bedside-conversations.html

    thank you so much for all of the ways you inspire and encourage us to stretch ourselves and grow!

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  10. Anna,
    I'm over-the-moon happy about your new book, and can hardly wait til it's ready! I've been loving handwork more and more (thanks to you!).
    By the way, I made my first grand thing from your Loulouthi velveteens, and posted about it here: http://mariemadelinestudio.typepad.com/mariemadeline_studio/2012/01/turning-22-properly.html.
    xo Achaia

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  11. It sounds lovely. Reminds me of reading Kaffe Fassett's Patchwork books...seeing someone's design sensibility brought into another medium is always exciting. :-) :-)

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  12. BEautiful glimpse, I can't wait to buy the book!

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  13. I say this everytime I leave a comment, but it always is the first thing that comes to my mind: YOU ARE THE COOLEST! I am dying to get my hands on your needleworks, and I can't wait to get a copy of that book. I'm trying to talk my local needlepoint/cross stitch store into getting all of your new stuff. There is one thing I am dying to know: while writing books, designing fabric, writing patterns, partnering with Janome, raising your children, and so forth, when and how do you take a break? Because I'll be honest, I totally look at you like a down to earth super human woman who oozes out creativity and inspiration even when you're sleeping. Seriously.

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  14. I think it sounds fantastic!

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  15. Anonymous6:38 PM

    Oh, it's the happiest confusion I've ever had! I can't *wait* to see it! And you chose to announce it on your blog on this, my birthday! What a gift! I'm eager for this fall and will pre-order on amazon as soon as you whisper the word. I was so excited about it that I already ordered Crewelwork (Essential Stitch Guide) to which you linked, based on customer reviews. I'm learning it's a crewel, crewel world out there. Glad you'll be adding to my growing stitchwork collection. SQUEEEE! :-D

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  16. CAN...NOT...WAIT...

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  17. Of course I am very eager to see it! It's interesting to hear your thoughts on being willing and considering how the style of the book can suit your life. A personal journal sounds heavenly.

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  18. I'm so excited to see what you come up with. I'm just entering the world of needlework. And your color palette and designs are so inspirational

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  19. yay! It makes perfect sense to me. I love your sewing books, and I love sewing, but handwork is more of a pasion... I can't wait to get my hands on the new book!

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  20. You have invoked a renewed passion for needleworks in me! I haven't done any handwork in years, but now I'm excited to pick it up again. Your concept for your book sounds lovely. I can't wait till it comes out! Congrats to you, btw.

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  21. Jocelyn8:46 PM

    hooray! Can't wait :)

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  22. Elizabeth9:02 PM

    Yes, I am confused, but it doesn't matter! I know it will be wonderful. Can't wait.

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  23. Exciting news! I'm really looking forward to the new book!

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  24. Anonymous7:50 AM

    It is a cold crewel world, and I am excited about your third book! I love handsewing.Your blog has renewed my interest in sewing,as your fabrics have totally amazed me with a since of awe.I enjoy your blog so much,as I am from a large family (one of 7)
    p.s your daughter looks good as a blonde.
    p.s. I love your voile fabrics!!

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  25. WOOT!!! Yay you! Love the beauty pictured up there, and congratulations, so very exciting!!!

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  26. How exciting! A new book in the fall means I know what to request for Christmas and I'll have something to keep these hands busy during the cold of the year.

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  27. OH Boy! I am so happy there will be another book and this one is about handwork! My Fav.

    I hope it has a similar cover to the other two books you have written, I love the way they look on my shelf sitting next to each other.

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  28. Sounds intriguing - if I am a needlework newbie, is this the book for me?

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  29. Hi Hilary- I think the book will prove to have a range of skills served well- with most embroidery or counted work, there is always a way to simplify the project.

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  30. I love the needlework preview ~ Looking forward to more of your inspirational work!

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  31. Annie C6:25 PM

    Lurv it. Can't wait!

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  32. Well, I for one am looking very much forward to how you do your take on an embroidery book.

    I think that most people who do needlework already have a basic foundation of knowledge, and it will be really interesting to see something a little different than what is already out there.

    Can't wait to see it!

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  33. Shalini4:49 AM

    I am amazed at how fast and how well you work. Very Inspiring. Well Done. Look forward to it.

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  34. I can't wait for your book! The colors look gorgeous!

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  35. What fantastic news. And I'm so glad you were able to get your vision translated by the publisher.

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  36. SO EXCITING!

    Love the colors too...so I will look for the book!

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  37. I'm so excited - it sounds wonderful.

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  38. I really hope that the embroidered butterfly from your blog bannerhead awhile back makes it into that book. I'd buy the whole book just to get the pattern for that butterfly. Because I love them! Way to go!

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  39. Fall, you say? Oh, that's such a long time! The sneak peeks so far have been so tantalizing, I can hardly wait! :)

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  40. Anonymous1:17 PM

    I will look forward with happy anticipation to your book. I love to see the personal reflected. Especially as we now see people reflected in their blogs, it is lovely to encapsulate some of that in a book.

    I have Alicia Paulson's embroidery book and I do love it because of the input she gave to every part of it; it is truly her work and it has a familiar tone of recognition.

    I know your book will be very different but you also have a strong voice, one that will be exciting to see in stitchery. There are not enough embroidery books - it is a very variable and adaptable medium and I know that with your strong use of colour and the added impetus of the texture this book is going to be great. I look forward to it!

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  41. Very cool needlework, it is amazing, I think very hard to perform this.

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  42. Excellent post. I want to thank you for this informative read, I really appreciate sharing this great post. Keep up your work.

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