You Can Quilt! Behind the Scenes: Pretty Pictures

Today Leanne from She Can Quilt (love that name!) is reviewing You Can Quilt!  Head over to see her great improv blocks and hear what she has to say about You Can Quilt!.  To enter the giveaway, go here.

One of the things I was super nervous about when Marlene and I started writing the book proposal was making the graphics.  I had Zero experience making graphics and it seemed nigh on impossible.  I decided to invested in EQ7 which made things much more doable.  Marlene had drafted all the blocks in her copy of EQ7 and sent me her file.  Then I would export a block image and open it in Paint - the basic program that comes with the Windows operating system.  Once the block image was in Paint I would pull it apart in order to show how to sew it together.

Just so you know, this is NOT a professional way to do things, but it worked for me and had a pretty low learning curve.  Our editor rather apologetically told me at the beginning that they could not use our graphics from EQ7 or Paint because they didn't "play well" with their publishing software.  She said they would have to redraw our illustrations.  I said, "Yes!  Please redraw them!"  I didn't want my exact drawings in the book - the quality just wasn't there and I would have been even more of a neurotic-perfectionist-mess than I already was if I had known that exactly what I drew would be in the book.

And sometimes I couldn't draw what I wanted so I would leave little notes for the graphic designer like shown above:  "Dear Editors, My graphic skills are not quite up to this one.  Please add an additional graphic showing it pinned on the ends and middle and then completely pinned.  Thanks!"  Then they would make it all pretty for me.

I think it is fun to look at what we gave them and what the final book looks like.  I knew that they would put the instructions in columns and break up and number the illustrations, and I left that for them to do.  Keeping the manuscript unformatted and the graphics bunched together made the writing and editing easier.  Plus spending hours formatting and numbering when they would reformat didn't seem worth it.  They did a great job keeping the feel of the manuscript we gave them and making it even better.

Stop back tomorrow and see where all the sewing magic happened.  :)