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  I sold and signed a few books at the CHA show in Chicago a few weeks ago. But the signing at Joseph-Beth Booksellers last night was my first full-scale book signing, complete with a (short) reading from the book and a little talk about sewing and its history, plus audience questions. I admit, I was a little nervous, but seeing so many friends and family in the audience was lovely! In fact, it was thrilling to see such a good turnout—half were people I knew, but the other half were people I didn’t know who had heard about Sew Retro and were excited enough about it to come! Of course, my biggest problem is that the baby is absolutely crushing my diaphragm at this point, and I lose my breath really easy when I’m trying to read. So hopefully, I didn’t frighten anyone with my scary out-of-breath talking!  

I have to give props to Joseph-Beth for making me feel like sort of a big deal! That’s the benefit of working with a hometown bookstore: they take care of and support their local authors. And the great news is that after all was said and done, they only had one copy of Sew Retro left! I know there are many places to order the book online, but if you want to order through Joseph-Beth, you can, right here

  I wasn’t exactly sure how the evening was going to work itself out. But it turned out splendid. My sister, Laura, ran the make-and-take Fabric Flower Pin while I chatted with people and signed books. What would I do without her, seriously? (She has a job already, but I definitely feel she could launch a new career in publicity!) My niece, Rachel, was running around snapping pictures (I look enormous in most of them, but such is the state of being 36 weeks pregnant), and I’ll post those (the most flattering at least) soon! (Update: I've posted some now, but none are flattering!) Everyone was just so sweet and complimentary and excited about Sew Retro. I was also really excited to meet the ladies from the Cincinnati Modern Quilt Guild. I hope to get involved with them after things settle a bit.

 Thanks to everyone who came out, and to everyone who has bought a copy of Sew Retro! Now go sew something fabulous!

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With my adorable niece, Rachel. Oh, to be 21. And skinny. Sigh.
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With my mom, the woman who taught me everything I know about sewing!
 
 
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CHA Supershow entrance
This past weekend, I was at the Craft & Hobby Association Supershow (a retail show of all-things-craft). My publisher had asked a while back if I wanted to come and do some make-and-takes and meet-and-greets (and sign whatever copies of Sew Retro sold). It seemed like a great opportunity, but since I’m ridiculously pregnant (and Chicago is about a six-hour drive from Cincinnati), I asked my sister, Laura, to come with me. Not that I thought I'd go into labor or anything, but I figured I could use the help (and company).
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My sister, Laura, and me, at the Craftside booth
  It was great to meet some of the other authors, like Stefanie Girard (Sweater Surgery), Jennifer Worick (Simple Gifts: 50 Little Luxuries to Craft, Sew, Cook, & Knit) and Geri Greenman (The Complete Photo Guide to Creative Painting).

Also, it was my first time running a make-and-take. It was so exciting to see such enthusiastic people cutting out the Fabric Flower Pin! Laura kept reminding me how un-crafty she was, but she totally embraced the project and was all about making them. In fact, I had originally just designed the flower to be two layers, cut at the same size, of the same fabric. And then she was like, um, let’s make two different layers and cut the top one smaller. Brilliant! I love this version of the flower, and I just added it as a bonus project here. Then, Laura was like, hey, I think I’ll make one with THREE layers! One of the women who sat down to do the make-and-take fell in love with Laura’s 3-layered flower. So Laura made a deal with the woman: buy my sister’s book, and I’ll give you the flower. And you know what? The woman bought my book—and Laura gave her the flower! In fact, all weekend long, Laura was talking up my book to any random stranger she came across (and then taking pictures of me signing each book that sold). Perhaps I should hire her as my publicist! Seriously though, I couldn’t have gotten through the weekend without her. All in all, it was a successful first CHA.
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Doing make-and-takes