Get Your Quilting/Crafting Book Published and MORE! March 19, 2014

March 19, 2014



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Creative Mojo with Mark Lipinski!


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Author, Editor, Quilt Collector, Designer


Donna di Natale June 2012

There’s Something About Donna . . .

Donna is a third-generation quilter. Her mother, grandmother and aunt all were quilters — some for necessity and some for pure pleasure. When she was 5 years old, Donna received a Raggedy Ann and Andy embroidery kit as birthday gift. Her mother taught her how to embroider the designs on the pre-stamped blue fabric. Her mother then taught her how to turn those small pieces into a quilt for her dolly using a little Singer sewing machine. That little quilt disappeared long ago, but Donna’s love of quilts and quilting is still strong.

Donna is also a quilt collector. Her collection began when she discovered the quilts her mother had stored away in the attic. They were quilts her mother, aunt and grandmother had made. The fabrics in those quilts from the 1930s to ’50s told so many stories. Her collection seems to be filled mostly with quilts from the ’30s. Her interests now include quilts from the late 1800s, perhaps because of knowledge she has gained as a member of the American Quilt Study Group. Studying the history of quilts and quiltmakers has only increased her passion for the art of quilting.

Today, her passion is also her livelihood. When she’s not quilting, she’s editing quilt books for Kansas City Star Quilts, which has given her the opportunity to meet and work with talented quilters from around the world. Donna is still seeking and collecting quits and shares them with others through her presentation “Confessions of a Quiltaholic.”

She and her husband love to travel, and Donna enjoys visiting quilt shops wherever they go and learning what quilters all over the country are working on.

Donna is the author of Anna’s Quilt: A Classic Design for Modern Quilters, and her new book is called, Prized Quilts; the Omaha World-Herald Quilt Contests, both published by Kansas City Star Books!  


From 1931 to 1940, the Omaha-World Herald encouraged readers to make quilts from patterns published in the paper and then enter them to be exhibited and judged at local department stores. Quilts came by the hundreds, and viewers came by the thousands. It was the Great Depression, and valuable prizes, such as furniture, refrigerators, bicycle and linens, enticed people of all ages to enter this prestigious contest. Ten timeless designs selected from patterns published in the paper have been redrafted for today’s quilter. Whether you enjoy patchwork, foundation piecing or appliqué, you can craft your very own prized quilt.   See pages from the inside of Prized Quilts by CLICKING HERE.

On this broadcast of Creative Mojo with Mark Lipinski, Donna talks with me about … What it’s like to be an editor for quilting publications, her creative journey, the importance of labeling your quilts, collecting quilts, inspiration for writing both Anna’s Quilt: A Classic Design for Modern Quilters, and her new book Prized Quilts; the Omaha World-Herald Quilt Contests, and more!

Here is a sampling of just some of Donna’s quilts from Prized Quilts:






This is Donna’s earlier book  . . .


Donna says, “The templates for Anna’s quilt are based on the original design. For the other projects, I simplified the daisy and morning glory templates. And because I love wool applique, I have included a wool applique wall hanging or table quilt and a small table topper. The templates for some of the projects have been reduced in size, and new designs were added to the wallhanging, but every project in this book contains the rose applique found in Anna’s original quilt to demonstrate the timelessness of this design. I hope that at least one of these projects will find a special place in your home.”

Visit Donna Di Natale’s blogs on the Kansas City Star Books site, by CLICKING HERE

Find Donna Di Natale’s Facebook page by CLICKING HERE

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Gallery Owner, Author, Artist



Desperately Seeking Susan…

Susan Schwake grew up in a creative family. Her mother supported her interest in art from a very young age and made sure that she followed her dream. Doing just that, Susan studied fine art at Plymouth State University with a concentration in painting and printmaking in the 70’s. For the past 20 years she has run an independent art school. She developed, wrote the curriculum for and continues to work with people of all ages and abilities. For the past ten years the art school has been part of artstream, llc which she owns with her husband Rainer.  artstream is a gallery and design studio. She has curated over 70 shows both in her own gallery and as a guest curator in others. She has been blogging since 2005 at about her life as an artist, gallery owner and instructor.Susan has worked with hundreds of people making art through residencies, community organizations and private schools over the past 13 years. During 2011 she wrote a book called Art Lab for Kids 52 projects in drawing,painting, printmaking, paper and mixed media. It is a smattering of lessons pulled  from her experiences in teaching art to children and adults. It has become a strong seller in it’s first year.

What is most near and dear to her heart is her own creative expression through fine art. Her work has been in exhibitions throughout the United States, New Zealand, Germany, Romania and Mexico. Her illustrations have been featured by United Airlines, Small Magazine from China, ON magazine, and others. She has been featured online at The Working Proof with two of her gelatin prints, at Juxtapoz with an illustration and she has written for WhipUp and Illustration Friday Blog about artists, DIY and teaching art.

Developed for the younger set (4-6 year olds) and targeting one of the most critical developmental periods for children, Art Lab for Little Kids is the perfect book for both parents and teachers who are seeking enriching and unique experiences to offer this age group.

As in Susan Schwake’s first book, Art Lab for Kids (Quarry Books, 2012), the Labs can be used as singular projects, or used to build up to a year of hands-on fine art experiences. Each Lab also features the work of a prominent artist for inspiration. The book begins with an introduction on materials and setting up a space for making art. The lessons that follow are open-ended to be explored over and over – with different results each time. They are geared for children being taught or guided by adults and are successful on all levels of experience and age. They do not result in “cookie cutter” end products, but are a method of learning something new each time they are used.

This motivational book stands out as a unique reference for creating fine art with children through finding the student’s own voice, marks and style and with playful lessons that result in significant skill building. Gorgeous photography shows different results from different people using the same lesson, exemplifying the way the lesson brings out each artist’s personal style. Art Lab for Little Kids is a fresh source of creative activities for families and community groups or will work as lesson plans for both experienced and new art teachers in home school, preschool, and kindergarten environments.

CALL INTO THE SHOW at (877) 864-4869 with a question or comment for Susan and you might win a copy of her new book!  

On today’s Creative Mojo with Mark Lipinski, I get a chance to talk with Susan about her new book, Art Lab for Little Kids.  We’ll explore what this book can mean for you, your children and/or your grandchildren.  I’m also very exited to talk with Susan about the ins and outs of teaching art … and learning art (there might be hope for me yet).

You can take a class from Susan. Check out her online course, Art Class: Let’s Paint.

Here are just a few pics from Susan’s book, ART LAB FOR LITTLE KIDS: 


buttermilk chalk 2

collage art lab

oil and pastels


dot to dot

artlab kid

A few of Susan’s other books  . . .



Here is a sampling of just some of Susan’s own art:







Visit Susan Schwake’s website by CLICKING HERE

Get a signed copy of Susan Schwake’s book, Art Lab for Little Kids by CLICKING HERE

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Martingale Acquisitions Editor



Calling on Karen…

Karen Burns started with Martingale as an office-tour guide (getting paid in quilt books), and then quickly worked her way into the heart of the company. She’s spent time as an account manager and as communications coordinator, and now works as an acquisitions editor. As a machine quilter, Karen has contributed to several Martingale books, including A Baker’s DozenJelly BabiesQuilting with Precuts and Shortcuts, and Quilting with Fat Quarters. With a stack of over 30 of her own quilts at home ready to be quilted, Karen compares herself to the cobbler whose children have no shoes—she is the quilter with no finished quilts.


Karen will also discuss the Martingale-published book (and my fav) 101 Fabulous Small Quilts.  This value-packed book features 101 inspiring quilt patterns in a wide array of colors and popular styles. Create doll quilts, wall quilts, table runners, candle mats, lap quilts, and so much more.

  • Enjoy designs from such trusted names as Country Threads, Kathleen Tracy, Kim Diehl, Little Quilts, Lori Smith, and Mary Hickey
  • Styles range from two-color quilts to totally scrappy designs–use convenient precuts and fat quarters or fabrics pulled from your stash
  • Try a variety of techniques with a minimal investment of time and money


On today’s Creative Mojo with Mark Lipinski, I get a chance to talk with Karen about terrific new book, 101 Fabulous Small Quilts.  Karen also discusses IN DETAIL what kinds of ideas and authors she is looking for to publish books, and what the process is to get your foot in the publishing door, whether you are a quilter, knitter, crocheter or other kind of needleworker!

Here are just a few of the 101 quilts from Karen’s book, 101 Fabulous Small Quilts

Amish-Sparklers-quilt Asian-Influences-quilt Eat-Slowly-It-Took-a-Long-Time-To-Prepare-quilt Evening-on-the-Farm-quilt Feedsack-Flags-quilt Five-Cent-Fairy-Garden-quilt Four-Patch-Pinwheels-quilt Japanese-Circles-quilt Little-Red-Schoolhouse-quilt Midnight-Star-quilt Order-Coffee-Every-60-Minutes-in-a-Coffee-Shop-quilt Tumbling-Blocks-quilt

Other books that Karen has contributed on  . . .






Submit a book proposal to THAT PATCHWORK PLACE by CLICKING HERE

Write to Martingale Acquisitions Editor KAREN BURNS, at

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And when your MOJO listening’s done. . .

If you’ve never used Auriful Thread. . .

. . .  then you haven’t really sewn!

Why not start off with my BASICS ?


Go to my web site to order YOUR collection — CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED.

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