Saturday, July 12, 2008

Snapshots or Illustrations?

I've worked on the illustrations for some of the techniques in Lazy Days in Quiltville. As I went along, I cleaned up the text to make it simpler, hopefully more professional. And then one of my long distance friends mentioned how much she liked the text of the Letters Tutorials just as they were because it seemed like I was explaining it just to her.

That's very appealing to me - having the book really reflect my personality and Bonnie's. Hmm, could I be "ruining" the book as I try to fix it up? So from time to time I'm going to ask for some opinions, starting today.

I've got a poll over in my sidebar. Assuming money is no object, would you prefer Tonya and Bonnie's snapshots to real illustrations? Now, figure that they are better snapshots - clearer, etc - but snapshots all the same. Would that make you think the book was shoddy looking, or that much more endearing? Please to vote, but only once.

Pokey had to jump up and get involved as I was taking a photo of the current super secret quilt in progress.


I sewed for half an hour yesterday - woohoo. Knee isn't really improving, but hasn't gotten worse, which is something. I have stayed off that stupid knee (mostly) and believe me, it's been difficult. Cheri called and invited me along on a walking tour of the Marais. I really wanted to go, but the adult portion of my brain won the day. gosh darn it.

20 comments:

Kristin L said...

I think illustrations and a few very nice photos would be professional, but I vote for keeping the conversational tone of the book. I think a conversational tone paired with a professional look would make a wonderful book accessible to many people.

Amanda said...

One of the best books (or series rather) is Alfred Wainwright's Lakeland walks - printed using his own handwriting and illustrations, just as he wrote them. There are so many quilting books out there that anything that makes yours stand out from the crowd has to be a good thing.

comicbooklady said...

Both is good. I don't even mind the odd photo to have a cat in it :) Sometimes an illustration can show the sewing lines better, but sometimes a photo can explain it better, choose the one that illustrates your point the best. Sometimes the reader has a preference based on the way they learn. For instance I have always liked the way Fons and Porter have done their instructions in their mags over the way Quiltmaker explains theirs. But I have met people who feel the opposite. There is no right or wrong just personal preference. Just as the author you have a preference/personality in the way you explain things, you don't want to lose that either. You might need a few testers to see if your instructions are clear and accurate. Should I vote no preference if I would like both?

Quilt Pixie said...

like comicbooklady I'd vote for a mixture... If a book is "too endearing" I often never get through it as I read books for content and am a very logical person who isn't comfortable being around too much emotion. "too endearing" I think could feel too smarmy if that makes any sense.... Personally I think I'd go for a tone that was more "you" in the general write up sections, but in the instructions I'd prefer something fairly technically written. The same with pics/illustrations. -- maybe cat and all snapshots in the "overview" parts, and illustrations in the detailed instructions...

Millie said...

So you are doing a "Super Secret Project," too, huh? Gee, I wonder where you got that term!

Love those fabrics, and the cat, of course!

Quiltdivajulie said...

I voted for photos - all the way. I can "read" them better than a line drawing any day, especially when they are offered in a sequence. And definitely some cat/dog photos mixed in for "human interest." When a book is TOO technical, it becomes dry. I get enough of that at work!!

The book definitely needs your voice throughout ~ I understand some cleaning up for the sake of consistency but don't go all formal on us!

You can't please everyone; never could, never will. Please stay true to yourselves and Lazy Days in Quiltville will be well received.

REALLY appreciate the fact that you're considering our thoughts during the development stage!!

Lynda said...

Normally I think illustrations are better than photos, because illustrations can be manipulated a little and be clearer than photos. But I think the photos you put on your tutorials are oerfectly clear - I've never had any difficulty with them (or the text) so have voted for that.

Katie said...

If the photos are "clear" then I'd go for photos. Sometimes you just can't get a detail in a photo, then a supplemental illustration does the job.

andsewitis Holly said...

So sorry about your knees, Tonya. Hope they get to feeling better soon. How fun to meet up with a fellow blogger. As for the book, I really like the pictures you have in your tutorials. Will vote. And yes, including the cats would be wonderful :)

Janet said...

The cats are a must in the book!!!

mereth said...

I think a mixture of both would work too, but the photos in your tutorials were just fine.They were very clear and obviously worked because we could all make our own letters from them! I agree you need to keep your 'voice' in the book, otherwise it will be just another list of instructions. And even though I'll buy it anyway, I'd love to see 'the family' in there too. In Dianne Gardinski's(sp?) book on machine quilting there are a few pictures of her cats, and I loved that little touch, made it all seem more real somehow.

Sharon said...

I have to second QuiltdivaJulie - she took the words right out of my mouth!

jmbmommy said...

I am so sad about your knee...my elbow is still being persnickity and it just sucks when your body can't do what your mind wants it to.
Book, I think that your voice should be strong and you don't seem too cutsey so I think that it will still be professional. I have to say again how excited I am about this project you are doing...I know that if you stay true to the ideas that help you make such wonderful quilts, the book is going to ROCK! (I like pictures and I like the cats because they are so you.)

Maureen and P.D. the Pet Dog said...

QuiltdivaJulie did say it all! I'm so very excited for you Tonya and Bonnie too!

Tracey in CT said...

I like photos!

Christina said...

sometimes when I see a book that is mostly drawings I feel sad for the writer - did she not have actual examples to show the techniques? I usually get more out of seeing photos, except when things are complicated and a diagram makes them clearer. I don't mind snapshots.

Karen said...

Hope your knee gets better so you can resume walking tours of Paris. Just look at that cute little Pokey with the curled-up paws, what a doll. Hmm, that's a pretty Super Secret Quilt.

Fran said...

Sharon is so right about Quiltdiva.Julie , I'm 100 percent behind these ladies in saying "be true to yourself". We all love your tutorials and understand them VERY well, and Bonnie's instructions for any of her quilts are so easy to follow. I for one can follow the pictures with no problems. So go for it girls, cats, dogs and all..:cD Smiles...Fran

jovaliquilts said...

I like being talked to, there's a personal touch about it, but clarity is the most critical point in directions. I love reading both Bonnie's and your tutorials, but usually end up making a little chart or notes that I actually WORK from, because the others are not easy to refer to. Maybe explain as always, but include a "cheat sheet" so to speak?

Susan said...

How cool that you and Bon are doing a book together. I think it should sound just like the two of you, and have lots of snapshots of your actual work. Make it real.