Yay, it's finally here! The book has officially happened! Thank you so, so, so, so much to everyone who has helped, been excited for, listened to, and shown patience with me and The Book this past year and a half. Thank you from the very bottom of my heart.
I truly hope that you will like the book, and be inspired to make things for yourself and the people special to you. At the end of the day, my dream for anyone is to find joy and peace in making things by hand.
Out of all of the things I did to make the book, out of all the frantic afternoons sewing alone in the studio, the slogs through the mall buying clothes for the models, the time the puppers pulled the unfinished strip of bias tape attached to the placemat and toppled the full cup of coffee onto the placemat thus ruining the placemat just a millisecond (thankfully) after the photo was taken (and this was the third version of the placemat, the first two having been screwed up by me), the times I thought I couldn't do it, the photo shoots with Andy where he held mobiles on the end of a jerry-rigged fishing pole and moved entire bookcases out of the way to put up Christmas decorations for stocking photos in August, the long days when Audrey was sick in her little bed under my prop table, when I worked side by side with my sweet niece coloring cupcakes and mugging for the camera ("Can you hold the doll up just a little bit, sweetie?" — she'd hoist it high above her head, grinning — "Okay, down a little bit?" — she'd drop it to the floor — "Um, okay up a little bit . . . [please please please please]"), the things I didn't know and learned too late, the quiet winter afternoons with red pens and sticky notes and the Chicago Manual of Style, out of all of those things what I will remember most is sitting at the dining-room table writing the small essays that introduce the sections, and the sidebars.
They came at the very end of working on the project, when the crafts were finished, the photos taken, the patterns explained. They were both the easiest and the hardest parts of the whole thing. The writing came out as if a faucet had been turned on, literally. I cried about each one. Then I sent them all in anyway. It became something different, then.
Writing a book makes you feel vulnerable in about a million different ways! Will people like it? Will they hate it? Will I make mistakes? Will I wish I could've done something different? You wonder why you couldn't have just been one of those people who was content to read. In the end, you can, of course, only do your very best, and then close your eyes and cross your fingers in the sincere hope that you've contributed something to the remarkable community you love. And not made an ass of yourself. Because you wish for that, too.
In the end, late at night when you can't sleep and you're thinking about it all, you think: Oh, yes — it was a privilege. To have had the opportunity, to have said it how you felt it, to have done it and finished it, to have worked with great people, to hold that real printed book in your hands. It is a privilege to have shared it with, and to have been encouraged by, all of you.
Thank you so much for that. I really mean it. Thank you.