November 24, 2010

Scandinavian Stitches & Giveaway


Recently, I was given the chance to review Scandinavian Stitches by Finnish designer Kajsa Wikman. I met Kajsa four years ago through Flickr when her whimsical appliqués caught my eye and have been following her blog Syko ever since. I am surrounded by her handmade goodness every day. She has been a huge inspiration to me so I was very excited to talk about her first book!

I was pleasantly surprised to find more than just projects inside Kajsa's book. There are sections about inspiration, organization, choosing fabrics, designing your own appliqués, embellishing, appliqué techniques, and free-motion quilting. My favourite section in the book was "I just don't get it!" which lists problems and solutions to ease our frustration when things go awry! Thank you for reminding us that we're not the only ones who have quilting disasters! I was thrilled to find that the book reflects Kajsa's design style and her creations to the "tea"!!

The simple & playful projects encourage creative freedom making it easy for the quilter to add their own flair. Each pattern is easy to follow and accompanied by clear diagrams paired with full-size templates! I was so excited that I immediately whipped up a few of Kajsa's projects that I have been eyeing on flickr and her blog for years!

The first project that I absolutely had to make was the Syko Teapot pillow of course!!! The colours I used reminded me of the taste of Earl Grey tea so I decided to add some free-motion writing at the top. It looks great on my wicker chair in the tea room! I think the result is a very happy blend of Kajsa and Laurraine!


I have also had my eye on the Tomte Stuffies since last Christmas! A tomte is described in the book as "the Scandinavian relative of Santa’s little helper". My tomte is made using non-traditional Autumn colours! I added a flower to her hat and she happily helps me in my craftroom (an army of these little helpers could come in handy all year round)!


Kajsa's description of Autumn in Finland is also my experience of Autumn here in British Columbia. This quilt will remind me each day that my friend is not so far away! I had a few extra leaves so I added them under the tree. My smaller version of the Ruska quilt now decorates my kitchen table :o)




Here are a few things I asked Kajsa...

What is the proper pronunciation of your first name (for all of us foreigners)?
For all of you English-speakers - if you say Kysa I think you will get it right! (I can hear everyone saying AHA! now) It is a long "i" sound as in KITE!

What was the first thing you ever designed?
I was 15 and it was a sweater. I asked my mum to knit me something and she told me to do it myself! So I learned how to knit! It was very wide and colourful, a one of a kind piece for sure, a pity I didn't save it! I do have pictures of my fist appliqué designs, I did my first appliqué on clothes for my daughter, some 7 years ago now, luckily I now have a digital camera!

Do you belong to any quilting or craft groups?
No quilting groups, but I would love it, I might start my own when the kids are a little older! I do belong to a local craft organization. We are having a show this December.

When did you realize that you wanted to make a business out of your crafts?
I think the seed was planted when I participated in my first Christmas market, but it was Etsy that made me think about my options seriously. Etsy gave me an affordable sales channel for my first creations. All the positive feedback I got on the pictures I posted on flickr was very valuable and also helped me with the decision.

Have you taken any craft business courses and were they helpful?
I took a course for starting businesses when I was starting up and I wouldn't have managed without the things I learned about taxes, book-keeping etc. Right now, I am participating in a project for craft businesses. We meet about once a month to learn about things like pricing and product display. I spoke about social media (blogging) and Etsy for my fellow students last month! It felt great to be able to share my experience and it made me realize how much I have learned along the way!

Have you ever thought about hiring someone to help you sew? (I know I have!)
YES! And it will probably happen soon, I need someone to help me with the sewing. I can't keep up with the demand anymore and with so many different projects the time dedicated to sewing is shrinking all the time!

GIVEAWAY TIME! (now closed)
Stash Books is giving away one copy of Scandinavian Stitches per blog and Kajsa is giving away one set of Syko Design cards per blog. Simply leave a comment on my blog for your chance to win! Giveaway closes on Saturday, November 27 at 11:59pm Pacific Standard Time.

Thank you for choosing me to be part of your amazing online book tour! The blog tour will end off tomorrow at Allsorts. Please see the previous post for the complete list of participating blogs.

If you don't win or can't wait to purchase some of Kajsa's work, please visit the Syko Shop.

Enjoy your afternoon tea & quilted crafts :o)

138 comments :

  1. the blanket is gorgeous!!! loved the fabrics.
    :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. thanks for this wonderful possibility. The book simply велииколепная!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for a great interview and for some interesting questions asked!
    I’m a lover and admirer of Kajsa’s work!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you for hosting the giveaway. I would love to win that book. You have made many beautiful things.

    ReplyDelete
  5. There are wonderful pieces of work in this book, and I love the way you made the designs "your own"! I'd be thrilled to win a copy of the book!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Both you and Kajsa are such an inspiration, thank you for that!! Scandinavian Stitches is at the top of my Christmas wishlist this year... ;o)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I enjoyed reading your information and interview. Lovely book too!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love the way you showed how you adapted the patterns to express your own ideas.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks for the lovely book review and interview - the book looks lovely and I would love to win a copy :-)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love both Kajsa and your work !!
    wonderful giveaway !
    laraignee71(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  11. I't always a pleasure to visit your blog and see some new things. Thank you for such a nice book tour and for the giveaway :)
    Best regards
    Jo&cats

    ReplyDelete
  12. She's a great artist!! I love her work!! Thanks for this opportunity! :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. what a great opportunity to have this wonderful book.
    Brilliant editorial you have made.
    Thank you for the chance
    Gina
    http://gina-catswhiskers.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  14. Your ealr grey pillow is lovely. Thanks for the inspiration; love your blog... I would love to win this beautiful book...

    ReplyDelete
  15. Love this blog tour of Kajsa and her wonderful book!!! She did a great job... and so did you with the Tea cushion and Ruska quilt. They really are a lovely mix of Kajsa and you. The design is Kajsa's but the colors are definitely yours! I already made a few Tomtes... I think I'll be making some more of them for gifts too.

    I've got the book already but would love to win another one to give as a gift for a dear friend :)!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oh I would love to win a copy of this wonderful book...!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Love the quilted fall tree! Love the book too :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Great interview - thank you!
    I'd love to win a copy of Kajsa's book - especially now I know how to pronounce her name!!!
    Gill

    ReplyDelete
  19. Es una maravilla todo!!!!!, gracias mil!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I would be so happy to win this book ! Your versions of Kajsa's work is wonderful. Hugs from France.

    ReplyDelete
  21. thanks for a lovely giveaway, and I loved seeing your interpretations of Kajsa's work too!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Each reveiw of this book I've seen tells me a bit more and I want it even more! I have to say (very quietly) that I prefer the look of the projects you made to the ones in the book because they are in my favourite autumn colours but they are great because they show that the designs can look how you want them to! Thank you for a great interview.
    Teresa x

    ReplyDelete
  23. I have been your reader for a long time, and it was very nice suprise that you have a giveaway Scandinavian book with finnish writer... So I'm in =). Greetings from Finland, Sara.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Happy Thanksgiving! I love your take on the projects :) Please enter me for a chance to win.
    Smiles, DianeM

    ReplyDelete
  25. I would love to win this book! Kajsa's work is so inspiring...

    ReplyDelete
  26. Kajsa's work always makes me smile. Winning the book would be a very warming winter gift.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I love the pillows! It would be great to win this book.

    ReplyDelete
  28. The book looks so-o-o good - would love to have my very own copy to keep.

    ReplyDelete
  29. This is a very enjoyable blog tour. I love the simple and delightful designs in the book. I'm keeping my fingers crossed to win a copy. Thanks for the chance.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hello, I loved its blog! I am from Brazil.
    Pretty its works. Also I make artisan works.
    Visits my blog too: http://www.familyatelier.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  31. Love her designs. Thanks for a chance win. Off to make pumpkin pie for our Thanksgiving holiday!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Id would love to win this book. Nice interview with Kajsa.

    kisses

    ReplyDelete
  33. I really like your versions of tomte and teapot pillow!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Lovely to see her designs interpreted by yourself, it shows the potential for creativity in the book

    ReplyDelete
  35. I love the book...the projects are wonderful! Enjoy your day and thanks for the fun! ♥

    ReplyDelete
  36. Wow! Love the look of the book and your interpretation of Kajsa's designs. Would love to try some for myself

    ReplyDelete
  37. I would love to win a copy of this book - it's been on my wish list for aaaages!!

    ReplyDelete
  38. I love the palette you have chosen for the tree!
    Thanks for the opportunity,
    Veronica

    ReplyDelete
  39. Love this book!! and so happy I found your site as well ;)
    Like your autumn tomte (or nisse, as we call them in Danish) and the idea to have a nisse around all year is great! I welcome the "season" nisser ;)

    ReplyDelete
  40. Ooh I really love the pillows with the teapots. and the tree quilt is gorgeous. I think so far of all that I've seen in the blog hop are the stuffies. They are just super cute. I know my Granddaughter would love having an entire village of those. LOL
    Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of this wonderful book.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Great interview! Thank you for the chance to win.

    ReplyDelete
  42. It will be a dream to get the book and im SO glad she is finnish, im very touched but everyone there, i have semeral friends and i think i left a little bit of my heart when i visited the country.

    Thanks for the chance

    ReplyDelete
  43. I would love to have that book! The teapot pillow is fantastic! Thank you for the opportunity! Crossing fingers!
    Agnes from Hungary

    ReplyDelete
  44. I so love seeing the things in this book. I looks so great.

    ReplyDelete
  45. i plan to blog in Dec about Scadinavian things & will blog about 2010 craft books the whole month of Feb 2011, so i would really love to own a copy of this book... so please enter me in your very generous giveaway ! thanks !!!

    ReplyDelete
  46. I love your version of the pillow and I love the Scandinavian aesthetic of the book projects!

    ReplyDelete
  47. Fantastic interview questions, Laurraine, and of course, great answers Kasja!! I am very happy to know how to pronounce your name correctly now. All of the projects you made are beautiful L and I especially love how you quilted your tree quilt. ♥k

    ReplyDelete
  48. I would love to have this book.
    Nice that you have the book as a giveaway!
    Regards from Sweden

    ReplyDelete
  49. Great Book! Would LUV to win this one!

    ReplyDelete
  50. Love the Ruska quilt! Thanks for the chance to have this book.

    ReplyDelete
  51. I love the tomte doll. I remember reading about tomtes to my children. maybe soon I can introduce a tomte or two to grandkids

    ReplyDelete
  52. lovely designs. I love the cards!

    ReplyDelete
  53. I love your interpretations of her creations. Kajsa's book looks great. My fingers are crossed.

    margie

    margiedicroce@rogers.com

    ReplyDelete
  54. I love all things Scandinavian! Thanks for the chance to win!

    ReplyDelete
  55. This looks like such an inspirational book. I ordered a copy for friend this Christmas. I would love to own a copy. Happy Thanksgiving from chilly northern California.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Of course I love how you have interpreted Kajsa's designs!! Thank you for having the giveaway - sure would love to have this book!

    ReplyDelete
  57. Hello Laurraine,

    Kajsa's designs are really an ispiration, just like yours. While I was reading your post, I thought: "The same thing Laurraine felt in relation to Kajsa's projects, I did with hers"! It is really nice to be inspired by other fellows' works... Thank you for sharing with us the beautiful things from Kajsa (and from yours, btw)!
    Cheers from Brazil!!!
    Mariane (mariantero)

    ReplyDelete
  58. I really want a copy of this book - please count me in!

    ReplyDelete
  59. VERY NEAT BOOK!
    THANKS FOR SHARING!

    jldouglas@wispwest.net

    ReplyDelete
  60. Such wonderful projects and such a wonderful book!

    ReplyDelete
  61. I want this book more and more with each blog that I visit...love your creations from Kajsa's book...would love to be a lucky winner, if not I am definitely getting this special book. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  62. Yay, another chance of winning this amazing book!!

    ReplyDelete
  63. I liked seeing your interpretation of the project next to the book page. Very inspiring.

    ReplyDelete
  64. I'm also a stay-at-home mom who is inspired by the online craft community. This is a beautiful book with wonderful ideas that I would love to try. Thank you, Kajsa & Laurraine!

    ReplyDelete
  65. Thank you for explaining how to pronounce Kysa's name.
    The projects in this book look wonderful. I especially like the tree quilt.
    Thank you also for the chance to win a copy of the book.

    ReplyDelete
  66. thanks for this chance ;-)Kajsa creations are so lovely!

    ReplyDelete
  67. Thanks for the chance! I would so love to have this book!
    ap_lemos at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  68. I met Kajsa last year in a craft fair and was very pleased to find out about her book! I just love her style!

    ReplyDelete
  69. I would be thrilled to win this book. I can't decide which project I would start first ;)
    tanyainjville at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  70. I've seen this book on a few blogs I follow already. It looks such a great book!

    ReplyDelete
  71. thanks for your post of the book, it was very enjoyable. I would love to win the book, so I'll keep my fingers crossed! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  72. I'd love it to have this book!!!
    Thanks a lot!
    Marisa (from Spain)

    ReplyDelete
  73. This book looks GREAT! I love the projects you shared from it and your versions! LOVE!

    ReplyDelete
  74. i would so love a copy of this book!
    Kellyx

    ReplyDelete
  75. Syko is always inspiring:)
    Nice review of the book, can´t wait to have a look at it myself!

    ReplyDelete
  76. The book looks great. Thanks for the giveaway.

    ReplyDelete
  77. Oh my gosh, these are gorgeous projects! I particular love the autumn-tree quilt!

    Thanks for hosting this giveaway.

    ReplyDelete
  78. I love the colour of your Tomte doll - it would look great in my house too :) I've made one already, and have another one cut out to work on - I'm making several for Christmas gifts. I'd love to win my own book, tho, so I can stop borrowing my friend's copy ! (And I'm glad to know how to pronounce Kajsa's name - we've been calling her Kaya, not Kaysa ... ooops!)

    ReplyDelete
  79. I would love to win a copy of this book! Thank you for the giveaway, Laurraine and Kajsa!

    ReplyDelete
  80. Thanks os much for this giveaway- all of your projects are lovely ;)

    ReplyDelete
  81. Thank you for this stop on the blog tour. Please enter me into the drawing. I like the little flower you added to the little stuffed man in the window.
    Happy Thanksgiving holiday.

    ReplyDelete
  82. Thanks for doing the interview and for the chance to win a copy!

    ReplyDelete
  83. Thanks for the interview and for sharing your ideas -- I love how you made the pillow into an Earl Grey tea pillow!

    ReplyDelete
  84. I would love to win! The books sounds awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  85. This is a beautiful book, thanks for the chance to win.

    ReplyDelete
  86. Thanks for a great review and interesting interview. This book is definitely at the top of my wish list and I'd love to win a copy. Thanks for the opportunity!

    ReplyDelete
  87. Really interesting interview. Thanks for the chance to win. Making a tomato is definitely in my future.

    ReplyDelete
  88. What a sweet book just chock full of luscious projects. Enjoyed the interview. Thanks for the opportunity to win.

    ReplyDelete
  89. I love Kajsa's crafts!
    And such a lovely interview :)

    ReplyDelete
  90. Love the teapot pillow. This book looks amazing. Thanks for entering me :-)

    ReplyDelete
  91. i heart your blog & works..it's awesome...^^..really..i'm still amazing how one can do that...Kajsa's one of them..i'd love to win Kajsa's book..^^..thanx

    ReplyDelete
  92. I'd love to win a copy of this beautiful book. The projects are too cute. Thanks for hosting!
    Lisa
    mistyfuji *at* yahoo *dot* com

    ReplyDelete
  93. Great interview. I appreciate knowing how to properly pronounce her name. Thanks for the chance to win the book.

    ReplyDelete
  94. This blog tour has been so good. I hope I win a copy of the book somewhere along the way, but if not I've asked Santa to deliver a copy for me.
    :o)

    ReplyDelete
  95. They are great designs and I love how they still look your style. And what a wonderful giveaway.

    ReplyDelete
  96. The book is wonderful!!! Thank you for the explanation. I want a book!!!
    Hugs, Luciana.

    ReplyDelete
  97. What a fantastic book, thanks for such a great giveaway.

    ReplyDelete
  98. thanks for this wonderful possibility¡¡¡¡

    ReplyDelete
  99. Lovely post thank you for introducing us to Kajsa and her beautiful work.

    ReplyDelete
  100. It is a nice book. I love the new ideas. :)

    ReplyDelete
  101. It's very interesting to see how you interpreted her patterns, thank you for the review, it must be a great book!

    ReplyDelete
  102. I too love Kajsa's work and follow her blog. Thanks for the chance to win. I like your interpretations of her designs.

    ReplyDelete
  103. I love everything she does!! Oh such talent! Thanks for the chance to win this awesome giveaway!!

    ReplyDelete
  104. I love the projects you made from Kajsa's book! I think that this book is so lovely - thank you for your fun interview questions and for featuring the book on your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  105. Wonderful blog you have! Thank you for the chance at giveaway.
    Happy crafty Holidays :)
    valerie

    ReplyDelete
  106. I follow both of you on Flickr, Kajsa and Laurraine. I have your books on my Amazon Wishlist and I was thrilled to find both of your styles fused together in this post! Awesome! Would be thrilled beyond measure if I'd win this amazing Giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  107. Enjoyed seeing your creations from the book. It would be wonderful to win.

    ReplyDelete
  108. wow what a wonderful pre-christmas surprise this would be! I am on holiday all summer here in australia - lots of time to get crafting!

    ReplyDelete
  109. I like both Kajsa and your work, lovely book.
    lenalena002@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  110. I've been dreaming about this book lately!

    ReplyDelete
  111. That teapot pillow is worth the price of the book! I've added this one to my Amazon cart in case I don't win. ;-) I'll still buy it for the library that I work in!

    ReplyDelete
  112. Wow! such lopvely projects. I would love to win this book!!!! Sandy :-)
    sandangels1945@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  113. I have entered at every site so far and hope to win this creative book! Thanks for the chance.

    ReplyDelete
  114. This books so inspiring! thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
  115. I think that your tree version is even more awesome than the original! I love the detailing you put into the quilting process. Great work!

    ReplyDelete
  116. Oh how lovely that book looks, I am so hoping to win one during the blog hop.

    ReplyDelete
  117. Ainda está em tempo???? então quero participar...Amo muito tudo isso, e não quero perder a oportunidade...obrigada por existirem e compartir com todas nós seu conhecimento.Ana

    ReplyDelete
  118. It's a lovely book, can't wait to get it! thanks for the review.

    ReplyDelete
  119. Such a lovely book, would love to try some of the projects

    ReplyDelete
  120. The pictures here alone are so lovely and inspiring, how wonderful to have the book in my hands! These colors transfer to my entire dream home. I love love her work. Good luck to her business as well!

    ReplyDelete
  121. Is it too late to enter?? I would love to win!!

    ReplyDelete
  122. Such a lovely book -- can't wait to see it live

    ReplyDelete
  123. I love the little Tomtes! So cute

    Thanks for the giveaway.

    ReplyDelete
  124. Such a lovely book -- thanks for chance to win!

    ReplyDelete
  125. Hi Laurraine! :-)

    Kajsa's book looks absolutely delightful! I particularly love the teapot pillow, in both colourways! It's always so interesting to see different interpretations of the same project - your cushion is so *you*!!! :-) Love it!

    What a delightful post! :-)

    Hugs from Australia!
    Vikki xo :-)

    ReplyDelete
  126. OH! Pick me! Pick me! lol Your blog ALWAYS inspires me. When I hit a wall in creativity, I just hop over here and I get loads of ideas!

    ReplyDelete
  127. Thanks so much for sharing this - I just added Kajsa's book to my Christmas list because of it.

    I love your Tomte!!! I can't wait to make one for my Sister-in-law who likes gnome-like things!

    ReplyDelete
  128. As I discovered your post after the give away was closed, I ordered a copy of the book and had it signed by Mrs Wikman, too. It's really a great book and thanks again for recommending it. I think my favourite project in it is the little birds quilt, which I am thinking of turning into a bigger quilt für my office and using all these little pieces of my favourite fabrics ... I also LOVE the fox quilt.
    Juliane

    ReplyDelete
  129. You have wonderful blog :)
    Hugs from Poland
    AGata

    ReplyDelete