Hi! I’m Kayte from the blog This is Love Forever. I’m on a
little blog tour to promote my new craft book Appliqué Your Way and I am so
excited to be a guest today on one of my favorite blogs (this one of course!) to talk about the book and
what inspires me to make things.I wanted to write a book about appliqué because I felt like it was an underappreciated craft in the sewing world. I have often looked for books on appliqué myself and found a lot of books for quilting but not much else. I love the idea of turning ordinary clothes and home stuff into something really extraordinary and appliqué is a fun and easy way to do that. You can do really simple things or go crazy with it once you master the techniques.It was so exciting to get a chance to write this book for Chronicle because they really got my aesthetic: I wanted the book to look casual, fun, colorful and layered. I am very inspired by Japanese craft books and their wabi sabi, slightly off-kilter but impeccably styled photos. My friend Jen Causey (from the blog Simply Photo) was the perfect choice for a photographer. She captures the beauty in everything and she has such a great sense of color and light. I did all the styling and had a blast gathering all sorts of fun props and clothing (many from my own closet!).
I lived in Brooklyn when I wrote the book am always so inspired by the many crafty friends that surround me so, in many ways, this book is an ode to them. A lot of my friends were kind enough to model for me too (in exchange for some small favors and free drinks!); I wanted the book to feel really fun, like a crafty party, and not overly styled or serious.My style is equal parts Japanese craft and faded vintage. I like to mix colors and prints like crazy and I don't like anything to look too perfect or precious. I am totally OK with things looking a little (but not a lot!) rumpled and frayed; in fact, I often prefer it because they show a life well-lived and loved. The flounder is from a project that I have been working on for a while: I want to make stuffed versions of all the fish that are on the "Fish to Avoid" list from the Seafood Watch List. I'm not really sure how the whole thing started but I love it! It's so much fun to make things that aren't for any work purposes. The fish take an insanely long time to make so I can't really sell them except as art and it's a meditative process for me. The two people that have inspired me most in my life are my mom (who is a crafty wizard and can pretty much make anything!) and my maternal grandmother who was incredibly fashionable and stylish in a bit of a madcap way. I remember playing dress-up with all my grandmothers scarves and costume jewelry when I was a kid and just feeling like I was in heaven. She didn't have a lot of expensive things but she was a champion thrifter and she always knew how to put something fabulous together. This sewing basket belonged to my grandmother and my family decided that I should have it when she passed away. I adore the soft pinks and peaches on the inside of the basket and how it contrasts with the natural reeds on the outside. It's kind of a perfect expression of the things I love most. Thanks so much Meighan for letting me share some inspirations behind my book Appliqué Your Way! If you want to learn more about what I do, check out my blog This is Love Forever.