The concept for this book goes back almost three years,
when at the start of a new school year, Kristin was walking her son to school
and noticed that a new family had moved in down the street. She also noticed
that right there, in the front window, was a sewing machine! An avid sewist, she
was determined to make friends with this new neighbor. Long story short, we
became great friends over our shared love of both sewing and cappuccinos.
Kristin tells this story:
I remember the first
day that Minki invited me into her home to show me some projects that she had
created. She led me over to a wall in her sewing space and showed me this:
I stood there in
shocked amazement for what seemed like a full minute before I asked, “You
create these with a sewing machine?” She told me that she called this technique
“sewing illustration” and went on to show me how she used it to embellish all
kinds of adorable projects—coasters, tea mats, zipper pouches, and bags, just
to name a few. The idea that this technique and aesthetic needed to be shared
with the sewing community started to form at that moment.
Minki has created sixteen wonderful zakka-style projects and Kristin
has written the tutorials for them, so that sewists of all levels and abilities
can create these charming little works of art.
We had such fun planning every aspect of this book, starting
with working together to select the projects. It was important to us to provide
a wide range of projects that sewists could quickly make and use to enhance
their everyday life. Chapters include: Projects for the Table, Projects for the
Crafter, Projects for Everyday, Bags for Every Occasion, and Art for Your Home.
We wanted to be sure to include fun, useful projects for
every level of sewing enthusiast, from simple beginner projects like coasters
and tea mats, through different types of bags, to, finally, creating artwork like
what is on Minki’s gallery wall in her home. We also wanted to make sure that
there were lots and lots of how-to photos to walk you through every step of creating
Collaborating on this book brought out the best in both our
skill sets, which made the process of creating it so enjoyable. During the
writing of the book, we discovered many new techniques and products to make the
process of sewing illustration even easier and were able to share those lessons
and discoveries throughout the projects in the book.
Since that serendipitous meeting, Minki has begun to share
her projects on
and a quick check of #sewingillustration
there shows that many people are finding enjoyment embellishing their projects
with this technique. Minki is asked on a daily basis for more information on
how she creates this unique aesthetic, and we are so happy to now be able to
share in-depth information and instruction on how to do sewing illustration
with this book.
Just a few examples of #sewingillustration on Instragram
There are a few recurring themes in the book—but the one
that we want to share with you now is one that we both try to live out each
day. And that is to take the time to do something that feeds your soul every
day—a few stolen moments to sew will help you to tackle the rest of your busy
day with renewed energy. Even if you just give yourself the time it takes to
drink your morning coffee to do a bit of hand sewing, you will reap the rewards
all day long. And that is what sewing is all about.
In case you were wondering about this technique of sewing
illustration, here is a short video to show you how it’s done, creating one of
the projects from the book—an adorable tea mat with a tea cup motif.