Friday, 5 December 2008

200 or 400 tips?

A few friends have already asked me about this - why are there over 400 tips in the "Compendium of Quilting Techniques" and "only" 200 in "200 Quilting Tips, Techniques and Trade Secrets"?

Well... there are actually a whopping 405 tips in each book!

The book was commissioned by St Martin's Griffin of New York, via Quarto in London. As St Martin's have a series of craft books on the "200 Tips..." theme, this book's title and format needed to follow the others. Quarto have already done several other books in the series, including the crochet title.

When we had the planning meeting, I pointed out that 200 tips wouldn't work out very well over 160 pages - those "tips" would have to cover almost a whole two page spread each time so, in quilting terms, they'd be very big tips! I knew I'd want to put much more in the book. My editors said not to worry, the "200" bit was somewhat nominal, and the other books in the series had a lot more too.

I planned the book by breaking it down into main themes, such as patchwork, applique, quilting etc. (the main "chapters"), then subdivided each of these by topic, which mostly run to two face-to-face pages each, i.e. one "spread". The topics are based on the Monday patchwork/quilting course I ran for four years, and some of the spreads are almost individual lessons. Then I aimed for an average of one "try it" and "fix it" point for each spread, and worked backwards from there. The actual tip numbers were added towards the end of editing, so we didn't get confused with temporary numbers.

The USA edition advance copy has just arrived. IMHO, it is a very nice book . Just the right size for reading in bed, lots of great illustrations, lively page design etc. The quilt pictures are large enough to see what you need to and photo details from many of the quilts are used to illustrate particular points throughout the text (lots of the quilts are in print for the first time too). Quarto have done it again - designing a very appealing book to dip in and out of. My original text ran to over 60,000 words.... so there was a bit of editing to do to fit everything in!

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