It was over two years ago when I invited Bari Ackerman to bring a selection of her completed work to a lunch meeting to discuss the possibility of putting together a book proposal. She arrived with handfuls of her creations, a bunch of ideas, and a lot of questions.
I had been working for C&T Publishing for three weeks. I was like a deer in headlights. I had no idea how to answer most of her questions, but I did know enough to send an email to our Design Manager, the talented Kristy Zacharias, the very next day. The subject of the email was: “Partner in Crime?” and the first line said: “I want to start a new imprint for C&T.”
I knew that Bari would need a design that was completely different from anything that we had published before. We would need to produce a book that was entirely in keeping with her unique style, color palette and relaxed approach to sewing.
You can see that good things come to those who wait. Kristy’s natural style is minimal, classic and neutral. As you know, this is the antithesis of Bari’s! Kristy called me over to look at some sample pages a few times, wondering if the design was “too much.” All I could say was that “more is more” with Bari and Kristy found the perfect balance between the collaged look that Bari brings combined with their common need for sophistication.
She was initially skeptical about her ability to write a book, but Bari is definitely not afraid of a challenge. Whether it is a fabric line, a pattern line, a sewing class or this book, Bari questions herself for about two minutes before she says: “Why not? I can do that.” And she does it! Inspired to Sew is a story of her honest experience with the ups and downs of sewing. Along the way she shares inspirational projects focusing on her collage style, and includes great techniques too. In her “Keeping it Real” tips, she shares all of her hard-earned experience.
But the real joy of her book is seeing how she combines color and texture, using bold compositions of fussy-cut cotton embellished with dense quilting.
Where many may feel that a project is complete, Bari goes ahead and adds an extra touch, a rosette, ribbon, velvet, or some embroidery. She encourages you to be brave in your choices and just add that one last element to make each project unique.
She includes something for everyone, from pincushions to pillows to quilts so that she is sure to leave everyone who picks up her book…inspired to sew!