Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Working Wednesdays - I Would Love Your Input!

Hi, all!

Here goes - I'm jumping right into my 2014 goals by starting on my book!  And I owe a debt of gratitude to one of you, who commented:

"Why not borrow the technique of quite a few bloggers who used their blogs to write the first draft of their later published (and successful) books?  You might have one dedicated day a week that becomes your 'quilt ministry story' post.  Writing a post a week would be a way to chunk the story into manageable pieces, and at the end of 2014, you would have either a completed first draft or a very good outline.  The end of 2014 is going to come no matter what, so why not finish the year with this goal realized or well under way?

Thanks, Juliana!  This is a great idea, and got me thinking about how simple that would actually be.  So now Wednesdays will become "Working Wednesdays" on this blog with an update on how the book is coming.  

And I'm hoping that each of you will read this and feel free to comment, critique, and make suggestions, because I'm really wandering around in the dark here - I've never done this before!  But I am really feeling a leading to do this, so here goes!


This week I sketched out a rough draft of what the book might contain…

Section 1:  Establishing a Quilt Ministry

Chapter 1:  The Accidental Ministry 
(how we started)

Chapter 2:  Why?
(stories from both recipients and quilters; quilting as a dying art; quilts as comfort)

Chapter 3:  Who?
(Determining your focus; screening requests; staying focused; expanding your reach)

Chapter 4:  When?
(Setting up sewing times; how to manage workload)

Chapter 5:  Where?
(Finding space - because quilting takes space!; finding supplies)

Section 2:  The Patterns

Chapter 6:  How?
(The patterns, along with stories of the quilts and their recipients)

I'm not planning to keep the chapter names as listed - it just gave me a way to organize my thoughts.  I'd like to come up with catchy names that make people want to read the chapters to find out what's in them.

So now my question for you this week is - what would make you want to buy a book like this?  What would catch your attention?  What would keep you reading?

Thanks for joining me on this journey - I can't wait to see where it takes us!



PS - just because no post is complete without a quilt picture, here's a shot of one of our ministry quilts - - -

This quilt went to a very young woman who was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I'm so happy to report that she has recovered well since that time.  It was one of the first "modern" quilts I ever made and honestly, now I can't imagine quilting this beast on a tabletop machine - but that's how it was done!  Seventy inches square, and appliquéd on a beautiful piece of vintage Irish linen that was in my grandmother's stash.  Click on the picture for a better look at the quilting!  My little photography assistant there helped me decide on the layout of the flowers.  I named this one "Not Your Grandmother's Flower Garden"!


  1. Coming from a journalism background, I always find who-what-when-where-why a great way to start organizing my thoughts. At this point I think you're headed in the right direction. I, for one, would buy this book as I would like to see such a ministry bloom at our church. In fact, I plan to float the idea at our church women's breakfast on Saturday.

  2. Love all the chapters! You don't have to write them in order. Maybe the stories you can write first it keep yourself motivated. I am super interested in what you have to say as this is my dream. Take it one bite at a time.

  3. Love all the chapters! You don't have to write them in order. Maybe the stories you can write first it keep yourself motivated. I am super interested in what you have to say as this is my dream. Take it one bite at a time.

  4. I like this idea! I'm sure you'll get some honest input that will help along the way. Like so many other quilters, I donate to charities so I'd love to read the process of how you manage your ministry. Most of all I love to read the stories behind the quilts, why they were made and if possible, the people who received them. I don't know where my quilts end up, so those stories keep my spirit going.

  5. The cover of the book is very important, of course that is one of the last things you would need. The cover needs to be bright and catching. Maybe a picture of ladies sitting around a quilting frame and quilting, or pictures of quilts and their recipients, the child sick in bed, the mother in a hospital room, the grandmother in a wheel chair, all wrapped in quilts that were given them. A picture of the ladies praying over the quilts they are making, etc. I would also include some simple patterns for some quick prayer quilts, you had told me one time ya'll have certain patterns and sizes already set up for a lot of the quilts ya'll do. Maybe have some testimonies from the people who make the quilts, and some testimonies from some of the people who have received the quilts. Make it personal. Everything else you have outlined sounds great!

  6. I'm also a journalist, and I think what will make your book a compelling read are stories of the makers and the recipients. I know you have to respect confidentiality of people's medical conditions, but you can ask permission for you to share their stories.Tell the stories of how people who weren't quilters got together to make quilts, how their skills and confidence developed, what the joys are with giving away quilts, and the perspectives of recipients. Your story is inspirational. good luck!

  7. I too am writing my first book this year and when I heard you were writing a similar book, my heart sank. But after reading your outline see that you are going in a different direction from mine :) Yay, there is room on the shelf for both of our books. I'm also going to set time aside each week to work on the book and plan to have it finished by the end of the year. You are motivating and inspiring me.

  8. For six years, in Iowa, I had a ministry (Stitchin' Mission) for teaching free quiltmaking, with all quilts going to missions. During that time, more than 1100 quilts were made as I maintained a website and a blog about our activities. I also wrote a book about it - wrote patterns, instructions, made quilts and had them professionally photographed, and hired a graphic designer to create the covers. I submitted my book to more than 60 publishers, both in the faith-based and craft publishing industries. Over and over again, my concept was rejected. I hate to be a wet blanket, but those are the facts. I hope you have success that I was unable to find.

  9. looks fabulous! I suggest a chapter on the volunteers - how to get 'em, how to keep 'em, how to make 'em play nice together, how to avoid monopoly, etc. Have fun!

  10. What a great idea, the book and the blog posts! I agree the stories are what will make this book appealing and unique.

  11. What a great idea, the book and the blog posts! I agree the stories are what will make this book appealing and unique.

  12. What a wonderful project! And you are the right person for the job! I KNOW it will be a fulfilling project, whether you self-publish or get published by others. Just put all your heart into it... You are already an inspiration to me!

  13. This will be a great book! Many of us LOVE to make quilts but our families have all they need. The big selling feature for this book to me, is that it gives purpose to what we do. None of us wants to make quilts just to make quilts, we want to bless someone with the work of our hands. This will give a means to do that.

  14. Coming from a quilting background, LOL, I'd like to see pictures in your book... makers and quilts, quilt designs and patchwork patterns. I really think that the stories you've put on your blog are a natural place to start. (Make sure you include the "How to start your own Quilt Ministry". I'm sure Church Ladies around the world can figure it out, but it's always fun to see how someone successful had done it.
    Susan Branch recently took us blog followers on a trip to England - then she wrote "A Fine Romance" as a diary of the trip... a lot of her followers are buying the book. (Marketing the book is a big problem for me... I designed a quilt booklet in the 80s...didn't sell that well.)
    Good luck on your venture, Sarah.

  15. I've always read more nonfiction than fiction, and more than anything I think it's because I like stories that keep it real. Not everything is sunshine and roses, there are struggles, and not everyone goes through them in the way one might expect. What surprised you along the way? What issues did you have to overcome and how did you do that? Personal stories, stories of the people who both received quilts and decided to get involved in making them, perhaps as complete newbies. The human side of things, mistakes made, funny stories, trash-to-treasure tidbits, your own background, etc.

    I remember when you made that flower quilt. It wasn't that long ago, was it?

  16. I am particularly interested in ch 3 because outside of my church it is hard to determine who really needs a quilt. they take so long to make and cost a great deal, I don't want to give them to people who aren't really in need. You know I have a ministry already, but if I was just starting out, I would buy your book just for that reason. But I would also buy your book to see how I could improve my ministry and organize it better. I have such a hard time getting my volunteers to be as excited about this ministry as I am. You do great work, I know your book will be great as well. Just be lead by the Lord!

  17. Good for you Sarah! I look forward to reading your Wednesday posts as you work on this!

  18. To answer your question of who would want to read the book - you are taking the first step. By posting on your blog for a year, you're reaching out to an audience who might be able to connect the book with people who want to start a quilting ministry. Authors who I know also try to set up speaking engagements to small groups too like maybe a ladies tea or a small workshop in your area where you reach out to local churches for a sewing day focused on a simple pattern that is ideal for charity quilts. Good for you for getting started!

  19. It sounds wonderful Sarah. Your blog posts are always interesting. You have a story to tell, and you'll do a great job of it.

  20. Good luck! I look forward to reading your posts on Wednesday.

  21. I look forward to following along with your journey! I actually only own one quilt book. It caught my eye because of the beautiful bright cover. I am attracted to bright modern quilts, though. I feel that the stories of the recipients would be more than enough for me to read the book (not to mention I'd be buying it anyway, because YOU wrote it!!!). I think maybe someone who is interested in starting a quilt ministry will also be attracted to the book. It seems as though your chapters are set up in a "how to" fashion. Keep up the awesome work, Sarah!

  22. You've got to have lots of photo, and mostly of quilts. While members of your ministry probably would love to have their pics in print, it's much more interesting to look at quilts than to look at pics of people you don't know. Quilts will sell better.
    Quilting might have been a dying art at one point, but it's been fully revived a long time ago. In fact it's a thriving business and art.
    I think this will be a great book!

  23. what a great idea for a book!
    LeeAnna Paylor

  24. Thank you for your topic quite interesting to read
    I hope to receive your posts via email upadate
    What is the address of your feed, I want to subscribe via email?
    Your writing can be an inspiration to me, once again thank you
    obat kuat alat bantu sex obat perangsang

  25. You gave that beautiful quilt away? Wow. That's wonderful. Best wishes on your book.

  26. I think that is a wonderful idea, I would love to follow along on your book writing journey!

  27. This book sounds like a Chicken Soup for the Quilter's Soul! I'll be following along cheering you along and sending you prayers of support and success.

  28. I love stories! When I was young, I used to get out church manuals and go through and just read the stories!

    I am also interested in all the parts of setting up a quilt ministry.


Comments make me smile!! If you want a PDF of a pattern, PLEASE leave your email address in your comment, or email me directly at salliesue57 (at) gmail (dot) com!