The Process of Writing a Book

I've never talked much here about the process of writing a book. Now that our third book, Cabin Fever: 20 Modern Log Cabin Quilt is in the final editing stages and just about ready to go to print. I've decided that I'd share a little insight into the process of writing this book. 

Kathleen and I may be a little bit over the top when it comes to writing our books. Our two pattern books, Modern One-Block Quilts and Cabin Fever both have 20+ patterns, all of which we originally made large, like queen size or bigger. Logically we probably should have made them more like the baby size, but we really love big quilts, so we're willing to put in the extra work and make the quilts big. :)

I thought it would be fun to share a little timeline about the process of Cabin Fever: 20 Modern Log Cabin Quilts with you, all three of our books have been a little different, when I wrote Beginner's Guide to Free-Motion Quilting, the process took about six months longer than our two pattern books.
Here's a little peek at the cover! I'm so excited!

Kathleen and I spent much of 2013 drafting and sketching quilts, we've had this twist on a log cabin idea in our heads for a few years. In November 2013 we submitted our proposal to our book publisher, C&T Publishing. Sending off that email is always a fun, scary, intimidating thing to do. It's almost like sending your child off to school or out into the world. 

Mid December 2013 we got the go-ahead from our acquisitions editor and were offered a contract. YAY! That's when we go home and jump on our beds screaming for joy. :) Then we realize it's time to get to work! At this point we were given the option for a spring or fall 2015 release. First reaction was, lets go with fall 2015. Kathleen had been dealing with some crazy back pain and had surgery scheduled for January 2014. We were also busy helping to plan a quilt show/retreat, along with both of us working our full time jobs, and still having kids at home. After some thought, and a few emails back and forth with our editor we decided to go ahead and go with a spring 2015 release. That gave us a package date of early June 2014. Sometimes I think we're crazy, when I sit back now and think about the idea of making 20 - 96"x96" quilts, along with everything else in five months time it'd gives me some major anxiety.
Here'e a little peek at the table of contents.

Mid January 2014 Kathleen had back surgery. The surgery went very well. She was home and making quilts within a few days. She had a couple weeks off work to "recover" from surgery. During that time I did a ton of sewing and she pressed and cut like crazy (generally when we sew together she does all of the cutting and pressing and I do all of the sewing). I wish I would have documented how many quilts we made in those few weeks but it was a true miracle how much we were able to do.

Mid February 2014 Kathleen woke up one day with some horrible back pain, again, but this time it was worse than the original pain. It was bad. She could hardly function, there were several days that she had to leave work to go home and just lay in bed. She quickly got into the Dr. and they discovered that there were several discs that were now ruptured and she needed to have another more major surgery. Her body doesn't handle pain meds or sedation very well at all, so it's a bit scary for her to be having another surgery.
A little peek at Typhoon. This is a favorite quilt. I love that very crazy twist on the log-cabin block, plus, I kinda love the custom machine quilting on this one.

Early in March she went in for the second surgery. The surgery was several hours long and she ended up having several major complications after, requiring a stay in the hospital for more than a week. Then being home on oxygen and basically bedridden for a while after. During this time, two little angles came and helped me. As I sit here and type this I still can't believe how this all worked out, it actually brings tears to my eyes thinking about this. My grandma and aunt traveled from Idaho, and helped me with my kids and niece, they also pieced two of the quilts in just two days so that we would be able to maintain our deadline. 

During this time, as if life wasn't crazy enough I did a little bit of traveling, I traveled to Quiltique in Las Vegas, NV and also to Detroit to teach, leaving my kids, who both got a flu-like virus while I was gone, with my recovering mom. :)

After several late nights and one all-nighter the rough-draft manuscript was written. All of the sewing was done at the studio, at my parents home, then I would go home and after my kids were in bed I'd sit at the kitchen table writing and writing. I remember being so exhausted after sending in the rough draft, and getting an email from my editor saying, this is fabulous, there are very few edits that need to be done. I can't even begin to express the sense of relief that came from her email.

Kathleen ended up healing and was able to bind all 20 quilts in April & May. We packaged everything up, that actually took me two full days, and made our deadline of early June 2014. 

Since that time there have been edits and a few changes. Today I am reviewing the manuscript for print. I am so excited for this book. Even though it's my third book, the excitement is there just as much as if it were my first book. I can't wait to share more of what's inside.
I share this not to boast, or brag that we made 20 large quilts in 5 months, I share this mostly to say thank you! Thank you all so much for being so supportive here on the blog, on Facebook & Instagram. I don't get too personal here, but there are hard days, exhausting and sleepless nights. Waking up to a kind comment, email or message can almost take away all the stress and make me realize all is good in this world.

Oh, and there are bonus pillow patterns, have I mentioned that before? I'm kinda loving these too!

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, I can't wait to see what adventure 2015 will bring us! :)


  1. You're so lucky to have a talented family! Can't wait to see your book.



  3. This is such an amazing journey :). I hope your mom continues to get better, and I cNt wait for this book!!

  4. I am in the exact same phase of finishing. We are launch twins! And you are right, third book or not it is exciting!

  5. I am so excited for this book Natalia! And I love the additions of pillow. As you know I sure get the "go big or go home" don't think I have ever even made a baby quilt smaller than lap size!

  6. Gosh you girls have been on a roller coaster! I hope your Mum is well and truly on the mend now and you enjoy Christmas! Exciting times ahead!

  7. I had no idea the journey you had before the Retreat! No wonder you have so many BIG quilts in your Trunk Show. Bigger is better! I'm not a fan of Log cabins but I see some that interest even me. I'm so glad I was able to come to the Retreat and meet all of the fun Utah Quilters! Have a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year!

  8. Congratulations is stunning and the cover caught my eye..Have a great and fun holiday season.Merry and blessed Christmas!!

  9. Wow! I can't imagine how little sleep you got during this book writing/quilt making process! I can't wait to see the final product though. It looks fantastic already just from the sneaks!

  10. Thank you so much for sharing your process, I look forward to the book!


Thanks for visiting our blog! We love to hear your comments!