Book journey {an intro}

I thought I would start sharing my journey on writing and self-publishing a quilt book with you all. I am not sure whether this is will be a successful activity or whether it will be unsuccessful, at this point. I have always been curious about what people go through along this journey, what worked and what didn’t.



Each month, I would love to share with you how it is going, answer any questions you might etc. here on my blog (that is if I can). You can also follow progress of projects on Instagram with #ideadesigncreatequilt or via my account @ml_wilkie.


Let’s start with an introduction of some of the initial ideas, decisions and steps so far.



What is the book about?

The book will be about designing your own quilts and what that entails. It also include quilt projects that you can make and shown in the images here (in various stages).

Why did I choose to self-publish a book?

I decided to self-publish for three main reasons.

  1. Schedule: I needed to work with my schedule which is not predictable. With the events of this year, I needed to be in control when I could commit time and effort.
  2. Sharing: I wanted to be able to share the progress of the book and the quilt projects along the way. This way I can get feedback from you all and incorporate that into the book/projects.
  3. Layout & Design: I had pre-conceived notions on how this book would look. I wanted it to be visually stimulating and modern.

I am currently thinking of publishing via the amazon company – CreateSpace.  CreateSpace works based on a print ondemand model, meaning that once a book is ordered, it is then printed.  There is no need to keep inventory. The royalities for each book sold via amazon is appealing. They will distribute the book for you too, to companies such as Barnes and Noble but the royalities are much lower.

I am not tied in yet, I have had thoughts of finding my own printers as I have some unique features I want to include in the book. This would not fit with the “standard” style of CreateSpace options. I would then need to find a distributor myself and take on the printing costs of an upfront run.

What are your thoughts?? You’ll see more on this as the project comes to fruition.

What were some of the first steps I took?

  • Knowing my skills (and limits) I knew I would need help from a Graphic Designer and a Technical Editor. I reached out and secured those resources.
  • Used a Lawyer who specializes in publishing to get a contract in place for the graphic design and editor services.
  • Set up a meeting and shared ideas with my Graphic Designer and Editor.
  • A mind map of the ideas to help with layout and what could be in what chapter.
  • Selected initial set of projects that may be included in the book.
  • Created a rough project timeline | project plan
  • Organized a group project with contributors which included them sending blocks to me, a waiver and inclusion notes in the book.


What time frames did I have in mind?

My initial time frame was to launch the book at Fall Market 2017. That has now moved twice to Fall Market 2018. Over the Christmas break, I plan to update my initial project plan with Fall Market 2018 as a key target date.

How are you committing to the project?

I have been really frustrated with all things that are slowing me down. This year has been a little start and stop for me as a quilter for many reasons. Like many of us, I have had to deal with life getting in the way of my plans. It can be as simple as trying to keep up with the daily schedule, or to provide care | assistance | time to an ailing family member who lives across the other side of the world, or to a full-time job demanding more time. This project has had to take a back seat, somewhat.

I did find that if I had other project deadlines (ie. magazine submissions etc) it helped me prioritize and manage my time better. I hope to spend a good portion of December working on getting 2-3 projects off to quilters.



Anyway….Thank you for stopping by, I hope this will be useful for folks. Let me know if you have any questions or topics you are interested in or if you have any advice to share.  Would love to hear from you!!

12 thoughts on “Book journey {an intro}

  1. zippyquilts

    Hi Michelle, I am also writing a quilt book, though I’m not as far along as you. Also, I live in NC, though in a very rural area. I’m guessing you live in the Triangle. Your quilts are beautiful and I’ll be very interested to see your progress on the book. Good luck! Mary

  2. rl2b2017

    Good Morning,
    I have nothing to share in any way to help/assist you, but I do find this post fascinating! I will enjoy very much reading about your process in getting your quilting book published, in whatever route you take. I had no idea about all the work behind the scenes or what the process might be. I guess I never gave it a single thought. Please keep sharing – I’ll be reading! ~smile~ Roseanne

  3. karenbolan

    Thanks for sharing about your progress writing this book! I know you will have some good insights to share and I for sure look forward to reading it! I’m curious to learn more about the decision to start the project. Was it a personal aspiration or a good collection of projects or outside pressure? I love books that are more than pattern collections. How did you decide on the balance between theory and projects?

  4. Susan Shaw

    Good luck! I am a quilter and am in the planning stage of a book and it is NOT a quilting book. After I graduated from college, I had a dream of being a co-author of a math textbook. My mother was one of my high school math teachers as well as one of my brothers math teacher, too. My brother and I were math and education majors. He was a math teacher. I also had a minor in computer science and decided on that route, so that dreamed when I left the family tradition. Now I’ve been encouraged by several people to write a book about the trials and survival of childhood sexual abuse. I had already started on this endeavor before all the current media exposure. I’m thinking of self-publishing and want to do more writing and focusing before I decide. It’s very difficult to write because of all the scabs that fall off wounds I unknowingly thought were healed. I want to follow not only your publishing endeavors but all the interesting quilting bait that you show. It may be a book I have to have.

  5. coollizzie

    I’m delighted to see your news, both from being curious about the practical side of writing a book and from having been a follower and huge admirer for a few years now. Looking forward to the next step in your odyssey!

  6. springleafstudios

    I wish you the best and will look forward to seeing the process as it evolves. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

  7. Pingback: Insights, goals and plan for 2018 | Factotum of Arts

  8. Leanne Parsons

    I am really looking forward to all of your posts about this process! I am very interested in how the self-publishing world works, especially as it relates to a quilt book. The projects look wonderful so far, especially the broken trellis quilt 🙂

  9. Pingback: Manicured Gardens {A finish} | Factotum of Arts

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