Shoot for the Moon #46 – Writing a Book and making a chuppah

Ross and Michele Chuppah for June 26, 2010

As well as giving lectures and vending at shows the past 8 weeks, I have been making a chuppah for my nephew Ross and his beautiful bride to be Michele. (Pix above) They will marry in late June.The chuppah finished at 110″ x 110″. It was made with beautiful muted printed batiks. Each leaf has personal information  on it. (birth dates, names of grandparents, sibs, parents, all the names of the wedding party, graduation dates etc) There are several leaves left open to add important dates as they live their lives together. I sewed the whole chuppah on my tabletop Bernina.

Well I can tell you writing a book – especially the type I am writing is not for lightweights! As most of you who are following this blog I started designing the blocks right after Fall Market of 2009. It took me until the beginning of 2010 to get the patterns designed. Those 2-3 months were easy compared to the work involved in writing and prepping all the images for the book. My publisher is amazing! They are so organized and professional! I have been learning so much about professional publishing! I LOVE to learn new things. It is fascinating how a book is made. There are 5-6 people on a team that moves the book through the company in a very methodical steady pace.

There are surprises along the way. Who knew it was VERY common for the name of the book to change during production. That said, guess who’s title has changed? That is correct, my new title is Blocks Across America. The team said that while “Where Ya Been?” is catchy and memorable it is not very search-able on the computer. That makes so much sense! Think about quilters looking for a Wyoming Pattern – they would never type in the Google search – Where Ya Been? – but they might type in “Blocks” and “America”. That is why they are the pros! A simple thing like the title being search-able can result in increased sales.

I was concerned with the usability of the book for the quilter if they wanted to make a copy of the pattern. Again – the team suggested a CD! Brilliant! That is so great for the end user. Not only will they get a color picture and a translucent pattern but also a CD with all 51 patterns ready to be printed out to their home computer!So pretty much for the past 72 hours I have been working as much as I could possible work preparing 51 more pattern files with all the pieces broken out into easy to use black and white shapes. That was intense – but it is done and I am doing a happy dance. Correction, I am thinking about a happy dance in bed! Tomorrow I will do a happy dance – too tired right now! lol.

Now that I am well into the process of  getting a book printed I am SO ready to write another and get it right from the start! There were many learning curves as far as understanding the procedure and prepping the files. I could have saved countless hours of work had I better understood what was required. The publishing company sent a 60 page book with detailed instructions. Even with everything spelled out I needed to actually “do it” for it to all make sense. I have already got the first revised manuscript and I read and sent that back to them.

Last week we shipped out all of the samples for photography. That was be a big task as well. Then it was back to the regular business! Yesterday we had a huge graduation party for my oldest son Brooks who is graduating from High School. We had 200+ people at “Camp Gabel”! CRAZY! I know- it is so crazy!Friday my friend Nancy and my parents and I made potato salad, macaroni salad, baked beans, broccoli salad, fruit salad,  bread pudding, watermelon slices and ziti for 200!Overall the party went great. The party was from 2-8pm! The weather was iffy. The rain held off until about 6:15. We all retreated to the tent and below the leaky porch! All of my friends got to tour the new barn/studio. Most of them were amazed to see how we have made a passionate hobby into a viable business. It was a lot of work and a lot of fun! Brooks will be off to University of Maryland in fall of 2010. He will swim for the UM Division 1 swim team and will be attending the Smith business school in UM. This summer he is working for First Mariner Arena Baltimore and for Red Head Graphics in Columbia. He is a great kid. I am so excited for him to start his college experience and follow his entrepreneurial dreams!

Stay tuned for more updates of my entrepreneurial dreams!


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. cindy Reaper
    Jun 15, 2010 @ 21:20:45

    Dear Debra,
    What an amazingly beautiful chuppa. Mazol Tov to the happy couple!
    Sincerely, Cindy


  2. zebrapatterns
    Jun 17, 2010 @ 01:12:32

    Thanks Cindy! Ross and Michele are very special to us and they are such a sweet couple. Thanks for your comment – I appreciate it very much!


  3. luiza
    Feb 28, 2011 @ 19:38:31

    This is the most beautiful chuppah ever. I am currently on a mad search to find one for myself and have been coming up empty. Is there any way you would consider making another one for me ? please let me know


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