Behind the Scenes: Writing Transfer Embellish Stitch

Posted by Jen Fox and Sarah Case on Oct 12th 2016

Fabric swatches of our book's color palette + embroidery floss for inspiration

We are so excited to share a behind-the-scenes look at our new book! We are Jen Fox and Sarah Case, and we had so much fun designing the projects in this book.  Transfer • Embellish • Stitch comes out in October and teaches hands-on surface design techniques to use with fabric. You will learn how to transfer a decorative motif to your sewing project with four different image-transfer methods: stencils, transfer paper, freezer paper, and fusible web. Then, you can add embellishments like paint, embroidery, reverse appliqué, appliqué, and deColourant in various ways to elevate and personalize your project. There are sixteen sewing projects in the book, from wearables to fun, useful gifts for the home. We are beyond excited for its release!

Wall Art work-in-progress; the finished piece is in the book as an inspiration project.

Writing a book is a long, intense process! Our book saga started in the spring of 2014 at International Quilt Market in Pittsburgh. Jen was there to show her sewing patterns and a fabric collection, as well as a collection of projects that we had created together. Inspired by our collaboration, we were excited to talk with book publishers to share a concept for a book that had been brewing!

A couple of the techniques used in the book: deColourant and appliqué.

After getting a bite from C&T Publishing, we fine-tuned our proposal. We outlined project ideas and concepts and sketched and brainstormed a lot to tighten up our vision of what we really wanted the book to be about. Our primary goal is to encourage experimentation with sewing rather than following a strict set of rules. We shaped the format of the book around that concept and designed projects that could be mixed and matched with a variety of decorative techniques, all of which are explained in the book.

Proposal packet and initial concept sketches in progress.

After we and C&T were all in agreement with the proposal and the outline for the book, the real fun (and hard work!) began! More sketching, experimenting, designing, coffee breaks, brainstorming, napping, color planning, sewing, and embroidering ensued.


Sketches for the book's quilt project. The one in the book ended up being closest to the bottom middle sketch.

We had a lot of fun designing the projects and figuring out which motifs and embellishments to use for which project. It became a game of mixing and matching to make sure that the motifs, techniques, and embellishments were equally represented in the book.

We used all solid-colored fabrics in the book so that the motifs could take center stage.

The process of editing the book and combing through all of the text, creating illustrations, and making sure everything matched up was a tremendous undertaking and required a lot of concentrated energy and time. We will never look at a sewing or craft book the same way again!

Working on a round of book edits at the local coffee shop.

Stay tuned for book launch parties happening this fall in Albuquerque (Jen’s home base) and in Denver (Sarah's home base) by following us on Instagram! We would love to have you celebrate with us. In the meantime, the book is available for preorder, and we would love to see what you create!

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